Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The Beauty of Humanity Movement

The Beauty of Humanity Movement by Camilla Gibb, ©2010, Doubleday Canada

In times of strife, the artists reach for beauty. They paint, write poetry, pen elegant missives—all in the name of keeping humanity alive. In Vietnam, it was no different.

When Maggie returns to Vietnam many years after fleeing with her mother during the Vietnam war, she is seeking answers. She never saw her father again after a tearful goodbye, but what happened to him? Who was he? Why was he targeted by the government? And how does she find those answers? It all starts over a bowl of Phở.

Old Man Hu'ng has been making Phở since he was 11 years old. He has seen much in the decades since then, both inspiring and devastating. Through it all, he found a way to offer his own form of humanity—in his specialty noodle soup. A soup that nourished a movement, and a generation fighting for what they felt was right.

Tu' was born after the revolution and grew up in an age of relative economic reform. He is part of the next generation, welcoming the world to Hanoi with his Nike knockoffs, and tourist-ready smiles. But despite his best efforts to gloss over a tarnished history, Vietnam cannot shake it and Tu' is only just beginning to understand what that means.

When Maggie meets Hu'ng and Tu', all of their worlds collide. Secrets spill out and truths can no longer go unspoken. Camilla Gibb weaves her character's lives together in a beautiful way that proves that humanity will never die. It is a movement will all hold in our hearts, if only we pause long enough to see it.

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