In 1969, two sisters from rural Viet Nam leave their parents’ home and travel to the bustling city of Sai Gon. Soon their lives are swept up in the unstoppable flames of a war that is blazing through their country.
They begin working as ‘bar girls’ in one of the drinking dens frequented by American GIs, forced to accept that survival now might mean compromising the values they once treasured. Decades later, two men wander through the streets and marketplaces of a very different Sai Gon: modern, forward-looking, healing. Phong – the son of a Black American soldier and a Vietnamese woman – embarks on a search to find his parents and a way out of Viet Nam, while Dan, a war veteran, hopes that retracing the steps of his youth will ease the PTSD that has plagued him for decades.
When the lives of these unforgettable characters converge, each is forced to reckon with the explosive events of history that still ripple through their lives. Now they must work out what it takes to move forward in this richly poetic saga from Nguyen Phan Que Mai at her very best.