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Anh is just 16 when she loses everything. At the end of the Vietnam War, Anh and her younger brothers Thanh and Minh are sent on a boat to a refugee camp in Hong Kong, their sights set on a new life in the U.S. The arrangement is meant to be temporary—the trio’s parents and their younger siblings are supposed to join them soon after—but time stretches on as Anh and her brothers await their arrival. Eventually, they learn the devastating truth: their family didn’t survive the journey, leaving Anh, Thanh, and Minh alone in a land where they have nothing and no one. Cecile Pin’s transporting debut novel is impressively compact, telling a multigenerational—and at times mystical—story of duty, grief, and legacy in just 240 swift and moving pages. —Lucy Feldman

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