FAMILY IN SIX TONES: A Refugee Mother, an American Daughter (Viking) is a refugee story unlike any you may have read before. Already its receiving soaring reviews and has been featured on GOOD MORNING AMERICA. A story about the American immigrant experience couldn’t be more timely.

In 1975, thirteen-year-old Lan Cao boarded an airplane in Saigon and got off in a world where she faced hosts she had not met before, a language she didn’t speak, and food she didn’t recognize, with the faint hope that she would be able to go home soon. Lan fought her way through confusion, and racism, to become a successful lawyer and novelist. Four decades later, she faced the biggest challenge in her life: raising her daughter Harlan–half Vietnamese by birth and 100 percent American teenager by inclination. In their lyrical joint memoir, told in alternating voices, mother and daughter cross ages and ethnicities to tackle the hardest questions about assimilation, aspiration, and family.

Lan wrestles with her identities as not merely an immigrant but a refugee from an unpopular war. She has bigoted teachers who undermine her in the classroom and tormenting inner demons, but she does achieve–either despite or because of the work ethic and tight support of a traditional Vietnamese family struggling to get by in a small American town. Lan has ambitions, for herself, and for her daughter, but even as an adult feels tentative about her place in her adoptive country, and ventures through motherhood as if it is a foreign landscape.

Reflecting and refracting her mother’s narrative, Harlan fiercely describes the rites of passage of childhood and adolescence, filtered through the aftereffects of her family’s history of war, tragedy, and migration. Harlan’s struggle to make friends in high school challenges her mother to step back and let her daughter find her own way.

Family in Six Tones speaks both to the unique struggles of refugees and to the universal tug-of-war between mothers and daughters. The journey of an immigrant–away from war and loss toward peace and a new life–and the journey of a mother raising a child to be secure and happy are both steep paths filled with detours and stumbling blocks. Through explosive fights and painful setbacks, mother and daughter search for a way to accept the past and face the future together.

Thanks to FSB Associates, we have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us your thoughts and what you think about the American immigrant experience. We’ll choose a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please

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15 thoughts on “FAMILY IN SIX TONES by Lan Cao and Harlan Margaret Van Cao ** SPOTLIGHT ** GIVEAWAY ** GIVEAWAY CLOSED **

  1. The American immigrant experience is one of strength, determination, perseverance, and constant devotion to family and their future success.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I admire people who give up the lives they know to start in another country or place. It must be daunting not knowing the customs, language.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I cannot imagine the courage, determination, and desperation many if our immigrants have to leave all that they know to pursue a whole different life. It’s nothing short of miraculous when they succeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In the United States, our ancestors have all been immigrants unless we are of pure Native American heritage. I’m sure it is extremely difficult to start over in a new country, with the exception of those who perhaps have some wealth and/or family already in the new country. Learning a new language is also a major hurdle.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi, this book sounds like a must read. I agree that it must be difficult to leave everything behind in search of a better life. Thank you for the chance.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My husband is an immigrant from Uruguay. He came when he was 10. Not speaking the language. It was hard for him but he learned the language and customs. Anyone who comes through a big change like that I admire their courage and strength

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My parents were immigrants & I am a first-generation American. The experience will depend on what you’re willing to work for & how grateful you are for the opportunity to live a better life. My parents were proud of their adopted country, learned English by ear, worked extremely hard, gave back generously & achieved the American Dream. For the most part, so have I but I am not done yet. The opportunity is there for anyone, immigrant or native-born with the determination if they so choose.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I feel like this is one that I could relate to as both of my parents immigrated to America from different Asian countries and they worked really hard for both my sister and I to have a better life.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Unless they already have other family members already here, it must be extremely scary to start a new life without anyone to help guide them.

    Liked by 1 person

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