Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Beauty of Humanity Movement by Camilla Gibb

This is a fascinating and lovely story of a man making his place in Hanoi both during and after the Vietnam War. Hung comes to the city as a young man to apprentice in his uncle’s Pho shop. As Communism takes hold and the war follows, the shop becomes a gathering place for young subversives targeted by the government. In the present day Hung sells Pho from a ramshackle cart on the streets. Despite his greatly reduced circumstances, he still manages to keep those around him fed and cared for. His life is touching in its simplicity.
I really enjoyed this book. It would make a great book club read (I want to discuss with someone whether or not Hung is really the truest Communist of all). The food writing is also fantastic - I had to go out for Pho as soon as I finished reading.

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