A Bend In The River: 2 Sisters Struggle to Survive the Vietnam War

· The Red Herrings Press
5.0
3 reviews
Ebook
412
Pages

About this ebook

IS THERE A WARNING BEFORE THE MOMENT LIFE SHATTERS INTO PIECES?

In 1968 two young Vietnamese sisters flee to Saigon after their village on the Mekong River is attacked by American forces and burned to the ground. The sole survivors of the brutal massacre that killed their family, the sisters struggle to survive but become estranged, separated by sharply different choices and ideologies. Mai ekes out a living as a GI bar girl, but Tam’s anger festers, and she heads into jungle terrain to fight with the Viet Cong. For nearly ten years, neither sister knows if the other is alive. Do they both survive the war? And if they do, can they mend their fractured relationship? Or are the wounds from their journeys too deep to heal? In a stunning departure from her crime thrillers, Libby Fischer Hellmann delves into a universal story about survival, family, and the consequences of war.

5.0
3 reviews
Pete Bennett
September 20, 2020
Living in the UK, and just being ten years old when this book starts, I have to admit that although I was aware of the Vietnam war (or American war if you are from Vietnam) I didn't really know a great deal about it, I just became aware later in my teens and early twenties about the anti-war rallies across the US, and something of the plight of the Boat People. I now have a new insight because of this wonderful, well researched book. It is told from the perspectives of two teenage sisters whose village is destroyed and their family massacred by American soldiers, they each find their own way to survive the war, ironically each ends up on different sides. Tam being idealistic turns to the communist North, whilst Mai relies on the South and the American soldiers for her survival. There are many twists and turns that each sister takes and each one is used to give more information about the politics and reality of this awful conflict. But please don't think that this is a dry history book, it is far more than that, it is moving, at times exciting and at other times quite romantic, but above all it is entertaining story and makes an amazing read, with a very emotional ending. What really brings this book to life to me is the way that the two main characters are portrayed, they are so believable and human. This author has written some great books, including some other historical stories, but for me this is by far the best thing that she has written and I feel very privileged to be an advance reader and write this honest review.
Third-party review
After their village is burned to the ground by American soldiers, sisters Mai and Tam escape down the Mekong river. In Saigon, Tam finds work in a restaurant, while Mai Mai becomes a bar girl ...
Third-party review
After I told the author I would read this book, I asked myself what I had gotten myself into. This isn't my usual genre and I figured it would be a DNF. Boy, was I wrong! I stayed up till 4AM ...

About the author

Libby Fischer Hellmann left a career in broadcast news in Washington, DC and moved to Chicago a long time ago, where she, naturally, began to write gritty crime fiction. Sixteen novels and twenty-five short stories later, she claims they’ll take her out of the Windy City feet first. She has been nominated for many awards in the mystery and crime writing community and has even won a few. She has been a finalist twice for the Anthony and four times for Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year. She has also been nominated for the Agatha, the Shamus, the Daphne, and has won the IPPY and the Readers Choice Award multiple times.

 

Her novels include the upcoming historical novel, A BEND IN THE RIVER, which will be released October, 2020. She has also written the five-volume Ellie Foreman series, which she describes as a cross between “Desperate Housewives” and “24;” the hard-boiled 5-volume Georgia Davis PI series, and four other stand-alone historical thrillers set during Revolutionary Iran, Cuba, the Sixties, and WW2. Her short stories have been published in a dozen anthologies, the Saturday Evening Post, and Ed Gorman’s “25 Criminally Good Short Stories” collection. Her books have been translated into Spanish, German, Italian, and Chinese. All her books are available in print, ebook, and audiobook. Libby also hosts Second Sunday Books, a monthly podcast where she interviews bestselling and emerging authors. In 2006 she was the National President of Sisters in Crime, a 4000 member organization committed to the advancement of female crime fiction authors.

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