The Best We Could Do

The Best We Could Do

An Illustrated Memoir

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
10
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The author describes her experiences as a young Vietnamese immigrant, highlighting her family's move from their war-torn home to the United States in graphic novel format.
Publisher: New York :, Abrams ComicArts,, 2017.
ISBN: 9781419718779
1419718770
Branch Call Number: 959.7043 BUI
Characteristics: 327 pages :,chiefly colour illustrations ;,24 cm.

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Donna's pick: This is an astonishing book. It has a kind of small, personal honesty and realness about people, and families. But it also excels at the broader scope of war, and fleeing your home. The author has put her heart and soul into this story - and produced a truly memorable book. It's the... Read More »

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StaffPickles Jul 26, 2017

Donna's pick: This is an astonishing book. It has a kind of small, personal honesty and realness about people, and families. But it also excels at the broader scope of war, and fleeing your home. The author has put her heart and soul into this story - and produced a truly memorable book. It's the... Read More »

List - Graphic non-fiction
afictionado May 20, 2017

"The debut graphic novel memoir from Thi Bui is an intimate look at one family’s journey from their war-torn home in Vietnam to their new lives in America."


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Mayflower94 Oct 03, 2017

One family's journey from colonial Vietnam to current day America. The stories are too broad to fit into a single book, whereas none of them is compelling enough.

m
mclarjh
Sep 28, 2017

Ambitious epic, but mediocre drawing; characterization; and storytelling. Politically correct.

r
redtayres
Sep 19, 2017

As far as graphic novels go I found this one interesting but less than compelling. Telling the story of the the author's life and those of her parents, this is a nice opportunity to learn a bit about Southeast Asian history. Not a bad read but I've read a lot better graphic novels than this one, which failed to compel me to consume it all in a single sitting.

j
jackhwolf
Aug 02, 2017

As others have said an excellent read in comic book (or as they say graphic novel) style. Poignant and interesting and doable in 1-2 hours.

StaffPickles Jul 26, 2017

Donna's pick: This is an astonishing book. It has a kind of small, personal honesty and realness about people, and families. But it also excels at the broader scope of war, and fleeing your home. The author has put her heart and soul into this story - and produced a truly memorable book. It's the art of writing/drawing a graphic novel memoir at its best.

s
spiderfelt_0
Jul 02, 2017

Chalk up another title in the Venn Diagram of 'Best Memoir' intersecting with 'Best Storytelling in a Graphic Novel'. If you enjoy looking deeply into the origin of your family's pain, and examining the environmental and social factors affecting your own development, than this is the book for you. I would heartily recommend this title to anyone who enjoyed Alison Bechdel's Fun Home and Are You My Mother. All three books look into the nature vs nurture debate with unflinching honesty.

WVMLlibrarianShannon Jun 30, 2017

The was incredibly moving, beautiful and sad. A meditation on what it means to be a parent and get to know your own parents as people.

w
wildct2003
Jun 03, 2017

Powerful and depressing at times. Well written/told, although I had forgotten about the flashback at the beginning of the book when I reached the end. I would have preferred a straight storyline. I'm thankful I have never had to experience war where I live.

p
pamelajpark
May 19, 2017

Refugees have come to our country for decades and we know little about the struggles they face. This graphic novel really brings home the personal, family, and generational experience of a refugee family from Vietnam in the 1970s. It's narrated by an adult daughter many years later, going back and forth in time, connecting her parent's experience with her own journey to adulthood and understanding. This is a book I will long remember. It is personal, reflective and opens up a side of the Vietnam story that isn't often discussed.

j
julia_sedai
May 01, 2017

This is a memoir about a Vietnamese family who lives during the Vietnam War and then escapes and immigrates to the US. It's a graphic novel, and I found it very powerful and well-done. I really didn't know much at all about the Vietnam War so this made me research it. It's at times very sad and moving. I think the comic book style is great because it's easy to convey emotions. There's a lot about parents and children, which I found especially relatable because I have my own children. Writing the memoir helped the author to connect more with her parents and learn about her family history, and I think it's important to read things like this to know what was actually going on for regular people. It's an inspiring and thought-provoking book. Recommended for all teens and adults.

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