The Best We Could Do – Thi Bui

First read of 2021!

This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.

At the heart of Bui’s story is a universal struggle: While adjusting to life as a first-time mother, she ultimately discovers what it means to be a parent—the endless sacrifices, the unnoticed gestures, and the depths of unspoken love. Despite how impossible it seems to take on the simultaneous roles of both parent and child, Bui pushes through. With haunting, poetic writing and breathtaking art, she examines the strength of family, the importance of identity, and the meaning of home.

My Thoughts:
This graphic novel was so beautifully written and drawn it was stunning.

This book is about one families flight from war-torn Vietnam to America. I loved the way Thi Bui started the book with her giving birth to her son and then telling hers and her families stories by going way back to when her parents were children. By doing this it helps explain her parent’s actions and behaviours.

There is always so much that we don’t know about our parents and why they are the way they are and Thi Bui really does take a deep dive into that.

I knew absolutely nothing about the Vietnam war except what was said on American movies/TV series so it was fascinating to learn about it from the Vietnamese perspective, and it is something that I will have to look into more.

I will 100% be re-reading this and taking it a bit slower to take in all the artwork, it’s such an incredible story of perseverance.

5 thoughts on “The Best We Could Do – Thi Bui”

  1. Lovely real story. By the fact of being a mother, and noticing that children not always want to listen to the reason of our own decisions, I’ve realized that happened to me as a daughter. And started wondering about my parents- grandparents decision. And I love them more than in the past. They made sacrifices, they took decisions, they had mistakes and assume them… Now I want to write a diary. So, further, if im not here to explain my decisions, they can read them. Thanks for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

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