For years after the Vietnam War, Americans were unable to visit the country, but once tourist visas became available, young Dana Sachs eagerly applied. Born in the early 1960s, she had little memory of the war and its history, but yearned to know more about this Southeast Asian nation, with its odd mix of capitalism and communism and its streets crowded with bicycles.
In this unusual travel memoir, she recounts arriving as a backpacker in the late 1980s; moving in with a family and earning her keep by teaching English; encountering a salesman offering remains of American “poes and meeas”—which she finally recognizes as “POWs and MIAs”—and falling for a motorcycle mechanic named Phai.
The House on Dream Street is a warm, witty portrait of a country on the cusp of change—and of a woman learning to know her own heart.
“Engrossing . . . Sachs bravely renders Vietnam through fresh eyes.” —Publishers Weekly
After her husband dies from leukemia, Anna agrees to help hard-to-please Goldie to bring a collection of valuable Japanese art from New York to California. Harboring a decades-old secret that could change Anna’s life forever, Goldie must learn to let go of her past so her granddaughter can move on and discover happiness and love.
With a narrative that alternates between early 1940s San Francisco and the present day, The Secret of the Nightingale Palace is a beautiful story about the enduring power of love and family.