This heart-warming story will resonate with anyone fascinated by immigrant stories or seeking inspiration and motivation to fight all odds and achieve their goals. It is evident that Carlin has taken great pains to understand and accurately depict Long’s arduous, transformative journey from an orphan in Vietnam to, eventually, a multi-millionaire in America. Striking details like the time Long spent in libraries, researching success stories, or the Camel cigarettes that Vietnamese women bartered to rescue their sons from the clutches of the South Vietnamese army–Long recalls the brand from the image on the packages– lend the account convincing power. As the story progresses from Long’s childhood in Vietnam to the rest of his life in America, the pace of the narrative also quickens, at times even rushing through key events, such as Long facing the aftermath of a family tragedy.
Still, the memoir finds its rhythm by the end, laying out details of how Long wooed his future wife Loan. In the last chapter, Long and Loan run into a woman from Long’s past in Hong Kong. The woman, Ba Phuong, had nurtured Long and his brother as her own children when they were growing up as orphans in Vietnam. This incident brings the story full circle and ties the narrative together through a satisfying end.
Takeaway: The inspiring story of a Vietnamese orphan who became an American multi-millionaire.
Great for fans of: Kelli Nguyen-Ha’s Immigrant Millionaire, Qian Julie Wang’s Beautiful Country.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A