My Hidden Fear

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My Hidden Fear by Luan Vu Nguyen is a compelling memoir about a Vietnamese boy who was born in Saigon in 1973. He escaped South Vietnam when he was thirteen with his younger brother after several failed attempts. They traveled across Cambodia to Thailand where they lived as refugees until they received permission to come to the United States. Arriving in Minnesota as minors, they were put into foster care, where the two brothers ended up separated. The next thirty years were a nearly continuous cycle of making poor decisions and repeating the same mistakes as he battled loneliness, depression, fear, and addiction. Through it all, he missed the family he left back in Vietnam.

This is a candid and contemplative memoir that was very interesting to read. This book follows an individual’s personal experiences as a refugee, but also provides a first hand historical account of what happened to people in Vietnam after the end of the Vietnam War. The author also includes family photographs that I really enjoyed as it provided context and allowed for a deeper connection to the people in the book. Through the author’s candid admission of the many mistakes he made in the past, this book shows the human capacity to change, and triumph over trauma. The author suffered through hardship and abuse as a child, and he used drugs and alcohol to try to cope, becoming caught in a dark place for many years. But I found this memoir inspiring because, although he stumbled many times, he kept trying to be better.

While I enjoyed the memoir, I really wanted more details. For example, the author never mentioned what happened to his uncle after they parted ways following his first escape attempt, except for a brief note at the end of the book that his uncle eventually made it to the United States at some point in the thirty years after his nephews arrived. I was completed engrossed in the story and wanted to take a deeper dive into events that were skimmed over. The story spans more than three decades but is a very short book. The tone of the narrative was very matter of fact, and the story centered more on retelling the events that took place rather than delving deeply into the emotions that were experienced during these events.

My Hidden Fear is a memorable story of one persons life, unfiltered, and raw. Readers will quickly devour this short but potent memoir.

Pages: 76


About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on August 25, 2021, in Book Reviews, Four Stars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.


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