The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir

· Abrams
56 reviews

About this ebook

National bestseller
2017 National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) Finalist
ABA Indies Introduce Winter / Spring 2017 Selection
Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Spring 2017 Selection
ALA 2018 Notable Books Selection

An intimate and poignant graphic novel portraying one family’s journey from war-torn Vietnam, from debut author Thi Bui
This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.
At the heart of Bui’s story is a universal struggle: While adjusting to life as a first-time mother, she ultimately discovers what it means to be a parent—the endless sacrifices, the unnoticed gestures, and the depths of unspoken love. Despite how impossible it seems to take on the simultaneous roles of both parent and child, Bui pushes through. With haunting, poetic writing and breathtaking art, she examines the strength of family, the importance of identity, and the meaning of home.
In what Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen calls “a book to break your heart and heal it,” The Best We Could Do brings to life Thi Bui’s journey of understanding, and provides inspiration to all of those who search for a better future while longing for a simpler past.

Ratings and reviews

56 reviews
Laurence Moroney
July 5, 2019
Drawn in start watercolors, it feels like 'The Joy Luck Club' for this generation. Bound to be a movie, and potentially a great one. Read it to get a different viewpoint around the wars in Vietnam, from those that lived through them, their descendants, and those they loved. A must read!
12 people found this review helpful
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Prince Burder
January 28, 2018
Beautiful... I believe you don't have to be Vietnamese to relate to the narrative. Refugee or not... We deal with our demons and our fear of passing them on to our seed. Loved every bit of it.
53 people found this review helpful
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Nohely's Adventures
November 11, 2019
The art, the symbolism, the story Wow! Worth the read, had to stop in certain parts to educate myself about the history throughout.
36 people found this review helpful
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About the author

Thi Bui was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the United States as a child. She studied art and legal studies and at one point wanted to be a civil rights lawyer, but became a public school teacher instead. She lives in Berkeley with her son, her husband, and her mother. The Best We Could Do is her debut graphic novel.

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