A stunning debut novel about an immigrant Vietnamese family who settles in New Orleans and struggles to remain connected to one another as their lives are inextricably reshaped.
When Huong arrives in New Orleans with her two young sons, she is jobless, homeless, and worried about her husband, Cong, who remains in Vietnam. As she and her boys begin to settle in to life in America, she continues to send letters and tapes back to Cong, hopeful that they will be reunited and her children will grow up with a father.
But with time, Huong realizes she will never see her husband again. While she copes with this loss, her sons, Tuan and Binh, grow up in their absent father’s shadow, haunted by a man and a country trapped in their memory and imagination. Their search for identity—as individuals and as a family—threatens to tear them apart. But when Hurricane Katrina threatens the city they now call home, they must find a new way to come together and honor the ties that bind them.