Where do I begin, where do I begin… Well, this book was the November pick for Jenn Im’s book club: @curlupclub! I’ve always admired Jenn’s love for reading and her recommendations are always great. This book was no exception.
“The Best We Could Do” by Thi Bui was a beautiful memoir. I’ve never been in a book club where one of the picks was a graphic novel. I haven’t read graphic novels since high school! This book rekindled my love with it’s beautiful images and well-told story. I think that it takes great storytelling to be able to use images and fewer words, and still have a great impact on the reader.
The book is a memoir, like I said, it’s about Thi Bui’s life and how having a child of her own made her see her parents in a different light. With a lot of research, she retells the story of how her parents met and all the obstacles they, and her parents’ parents, overcame in order to give Thi and her siblings the life they currently have in America. They escaped the fall of South Vietnam and lost so much along their way. Miscarriages, bombings (they lived through two wars!), communism, poverty, starvation, tuberculosis and pneumonia are only some of the challenges Thi’s family had to face.
By reading Thi’s story, you realize that parenthood is endless sacrifices, unnoticed gestures, and depths of unspoken love. After reading this book, it helped me realize the sacrifices even my parents had to make for me and my siblings. Although my family didn’t go through as terrible of things as Thi’s family, this book still gives you a much needed perspective. It’s such a great story to remind you of what’s important and what needs to be cherished. Family is everything and sometimes we forget that (especially during these unprecedented times).
This book really blew me away. The images alone are worth it. The flow of the book made it a very easy read but still meaningful. I’m not a professional book reviewer, but I think this book won awards for a reason. I can only say positive things about “The Best We Could Do” by Thi Bui. If you think a graphic novel is more YA, don’t be so quick to assume! This book is great for all ages.
I actually plan on lending it to my sister that has a one month old son. I think this would definitely give her some perspective on her new role. Anyways, I hope you guys are intrigued by this novel. Please take my word for it! I don’t really review or write one of these guys unless I really think you need to read it for yourselves!
Until next time,
– Tiny ❤
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