Black Heron Press: June 15, 2012; hardcover
Genre: historical, literary fiction
Objective rating: 4/5
I blinked away wet stars in my eyes. "I want my daddy's skull back."
"Daddy's skull? the older boy said, and then tapped the skull with his pipe. "This?"
About the book:
Tai makes a pact with a geomancer to find a desirable and auspicious burial site for his father's and his brother's bodies, as Tai discovers that a good burial site can mean prosperity in the future for himself, his mother, and the future members of his family.
The novel follows the young man as he becomes a servant to the geomancer in the city and then finds a patron who buys the burial site for his family and bestows other favors on him. Tai later discovers who betrayed his father and what fate has in store for him.
The novel is set during the time when Tonkin was under French colonial rule. The relationships between the French, the resident Chinese, and the Tonkinese (Vietnamese) are all featured in the book, which gives you a good feel for the culture, the times and its conditions.
I rated the book 4/5 and recommend it for those interested in Vietnam during this period of history.
Khanh Ha was born in Hue, the former capital of Vietnam. During his teen years he began writing short stories which won him several awards in Vietnamese adolescent magazines. He graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor's degree in Journalism. He is at work on a new novel.
Thanks to TLC Book Tours and the publisher for a complimentary review copy of this book. Click for other reviews