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Publishers WeeklyMemoirist Nguyen's debut novel traces the quiet estrangement of the Luong sisters, second-generation Vietnam-ese-American women whose personal lives are falling apart but who put on a brave face for the family. When their father calls them home to Michigan to take charge of his citizenship party, the sisters discover each other as adults for the first time. The casting seems felicitous: Alice Kennedy is also the daughter of South Vietnamese immigrants, lives in Grand Rapids, and nails the nasal Michigan accent. But she falls flat in creating specific voices; all the char-acters-the firecracker Linny, the cautious Van and their infuriatingly stubborn father-sounds the same. Since the novel does not always identify who is speaking, it can be difficult for listeners to follow which character is saying what in conversation. Although Kennedy's performance has strong inflection and emotion, the nuances of Nguyen's subtle character study get lost in translation. A Viking hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 16 ).
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