Mrs. Rossi’s Dream by Khanh HaDuring the Vietnam War, Giang defected from the north and was sent to a reform camp for ten years, after which he served in the South Vietnamese army. In the book, he gives tours of the area to Mrs. Rossi and helps her to search for the remains of her son, an American who died in 1966-1967 during the war.
The exact place where Mrs. Rossi's son died is unknown, so Giang takes her to Military Zone 9, an approximate and possible location. It is now a vast wet woodland where families from the north and south have come to search for the bones of their dead.
Giang tries to subtly tell Mrs. Rossi that soldiers' remains, after 20 years, are now scattered bones, and not identifiable one from the other in the jungle environment. Still, she persists.
Recommendation: In the book, we learn about the history of Vietnam and the consequences of colonization and occupation by the Chinese and the French, and then by the Americans during the war. We learn also about the beauty of the land, the river, white water lilies floating on the water, the dramatic contrast with death and destruction of the war.
We learn about the Vietnamese point of view of the war, their experiences, their language, history, the ghosts and the bones scattered throughout the country.
In the end, Giang makes a confession to Mrs. Rossi, and they both weep for their losses, for their sadness, and both come to find sorrow, forgiveness, and common ground.
Summary: A moving story, both sad and exhilarating in parts, that is also a history and a description of a country torn by war and occupation over centuries, and an emotional journey of a mother's search for and memories of her son.
Thanks to Teddy Rose and Virtual Author Book Tours for an ebook for this book tour.