To read or not to read... a story set in Vietnam

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Set in the post-civil war of Vietnam, read this heartwarming tale of salvation and redemption, told from the viewpoint of  three seemingly unconnected characters, who are brought together in greed fear and hope.







To read or not to read?-That is the question. Read the opening paragraphs of this book and you decide...

All that was left of the little lizard was a skeleton. It was trapped behind the browning tape which held the tattered mosquito net across the window. Tail curled, body strained and snaking, it looked like it had struggled to the very end. Alexander and the lizard sat together in the dusty cafe in Hanoi's Old Quarter, watching people and sharing time. Alexander was stony faced. Dead teeth bared, the lizard smiled.

Alexander knocked back the dregs of his watery coffee and lit a cigarette. he took a long drag and ran his finger around the rim of his cup, listening to the stern, tin voice of the loudspeakers crackle in the heat as the Party marched through their evening bulletin. The street was insufferably busy, as were all in Hanoi. The buildings here squatted closer than in any other city he'd seen, and the trees they hid behind were all taller and thicker. His eyes sifted through the mess of brown faces and patrolling government uniforms and snagged on an elderly woman, crouched in a doorway on the opposite kerb. She was bending her head to the bowl in her hand and shovelling rice into her mouth through the gaps where her teeth should have been. A cat paced beside her, rubbing his mangy fur on her shin and flicking the stump of his tail, impatiently. The woman dropped a scarp and the animal chomped frantically at the ground. She paused and watched him, her tongue licking out from the corner of her mouth and her chopsticks upright in the bowl, like incense at a funerary rite. God, no, not her, thought Alexander. The lizard smiled.

Dusk was staring to creep in, but the air still boiled. In the searing heat, the sewers sweated, and hot, wet air rose up from underground and soaked people with stench. All along the tree-lined street, shops and eateries spilled over from their doorways. Women sat on the tiled steps, fanning their children with the latest order of government pamphlets. Faded red falgs hung from every awning, and they drooped as though weary of the heat too, and the strain of parading their loyalty.

To keep reading this book, request it from the Library. 

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