*May Contain Spoilers*
Revenge is in the cards for the main character of Nina Vida's novel, The Queen of Annam's Daughter. After Anh left Vietnam, she decided to leave the war behind her, but the war refused to let her leave.
Anh Truong is a Vietnamese women trying to live beyond the war that wrecked her homeland of Vietnam. She's a strong woman who overcame forced prostitution, death, and loss. Her story is a harrowing one that will not only intrigue readers, but will also bring about an empathetic response. The main plot line of the novel revolves around Anh's daughter, who she calls Girl, being kidnapped. Anh has no idea who took her, but now it seems that everyone is a threat -- even people she's known for years. As Anh does everything in her power to find Girl, the death count rises. And the only thing the dead bodies have in common is knowing Anh.
This novel is a mystery that has two main unknowns: who took Girl and why is someone killing Anh's friends and family? As the book progresses, readers will learn about Anh as if they were also one of her friends. Anh is a fast-talking, deal-making, service-offering tornado of a woman who is always focused on the next thing. She tends to ramble and babble, often saying things she shouldn't. Her blunt nature a force that works both for and against her. Readers will definitely find some facets of Anh's personality abrasive, but I think it makes her a more rounded character. She has obvious flaws, but when her inner personality is revealed, her caring nature is adamant. It seems all the hard work she does is for others and this reveals a very giving person underneath all the harsh words and cutting advice. Losing a child in itself is a terrifying thing and the situation adds to the empathy that readers will feel for Anh.
The plot of The Queen of Annam's Daughter is thoroughly fleshed out. Each suspect that Anh discovers is investigated and their secrets are also revealed. Between most of the chapters there are also sections that take place in Vietnam, before Anh escaped for America, and these lend an authenticity to the story. Nina Vida does a wonderful job in pulling the reader into the Vietnamese culture as well as entertaining them with the story of Anh's kidnapped daughter. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy mystery, suspense, and historical genres.
Rating: 4/5 Cups