Sunday 3 March 2019

Carole's Sunday Review: Mrs. Rossi's Dream

Mrs. Rossi's Dream
Author: Khanh Ha 

Title: Mrs. Rossi's Dream
Genre: Fiction
Pages: ebook
Published:  March 1st 2019
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

Thus begins the harrowing yet poignant story of a North Vietnamese communist defector who spends ten years in a far-flung reform prison after the war, and now, in 1987, a free man again, finds work as caretaker at a roadside inn in the U Minh region. One day new guests arrive at the inn: an elderly American woman and her daughter, an eighteen-year-old Vietnamese girl adopted at the age of five from an orphanage in the Mekong Delta before the war ended. Catherine Rossi has come to this region to find the remains of her son, a lieutenant who went missing-in-action during the war. 

Mrs. Rossi's Dream tells the stories of two men in time parallel: Giang, the thirty-nine-year-old war veteran; Nicola Rossi, a deceased lieutenant in the United States Army, the voice of a spirit. From the haunting ugliness of the Vietnam War, the stories of these two men shout, cry, and whisper to us the voices of love and loneliness, barbarity and longing, lived and felt by a multitude of people from all walks of life: the tender adolescent vulnerability of a girl toward a man who, as a drifter and a war-hardened man, draws beautifully in his spare time; the test of love and faith endured by a mother whose dogged patience even baffles the local hired hand who thinks the poor old lady must have gone out of her mind, and whose determination drives her into the spooky forest, rain or shine, until one day she claims she has sensed an otherworldly presence in there with her. In the end she wishes to see, just once, a river the local Vietnamese call "The River of White Water Lilies," the very river her son saw, now that all her hopes to find his remains die out. 

Just then something happens. She finds out where he has lain buried for twenty years and how he was killed.

This book immediately drew me in with the cover and title. The summary really did me in. I had to give this a read. 

The story all revolves around the Vietnam War and some of the characters who's lives where impacted by this bloody war. Mrs Rossi lost her son and is trying to find closure years after the war is ended who is traveling to Vietnam with her adopted daughter. At the same time we get to see Giang who is a veteran and Nicola Rossi during the time of the war. 

It took me a while to really get into the story. I was enjoying it, but I was not sure what was really going on or what the author was trying to do. After a few pages the light-switch in my head clicked and then I got it. I was hooked and finished the book in a couple of sittings. 

So beautiful and so tragic and so sad. 

This book really captured the true darkness of the war and the aftermath. So many lives were destroyed. Those who lived may have survived but to face so many nightmares. War is hell indeed. I felt so bad for Giang and for Mrs. Rossi. I wanted a miracle to happen, but life doesn't always give miracles. 

The jumping between timelines and POVs was a little confusing at first, but I got used to it. 

I really liked Ian and his story made me sad! Sure he was just a side characters but I had hope and I adored him. 

This was beautifully written and it was a good read. I did get a little tear near the end there! That last scene made my heart hurt! Oooo! 

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was a little rough at the beginning until I got into the flow of things and understood what was going on. The writing was beautifully done and this book does make you think and feel. My poor heart at the end there! I do recommend this if you're looking for a good people story that shows the impact of a terrible war. I'll stamp this with 4 stars. 



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