A Vietnam veteran dies before completing a center for homeless children in Ho Chi Minh City. Can his daughter, Iris, finish the task? Accompanying her is a childhood friend, Noah, who has lost his leg serving in Iraq. Will his bitterness end working with the children and can he reclaim the life he has lost? Minh and Mai,the two homeless children we meet,will they somehow find their way to this place of refuge and realize their dream of having a home? Then there is the evil Loc, who the children must pay to be safe. Does he get what he deserves in the end?
Dragon House is a story of hope, survival and coming to terms with the past. Set on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, the book follows the lives of street children and some good Samaritans who come to help them.
The strongest developed characters in the book are the children. I wanted to adopt them all. Perhaps in connecting with these characters, the author hopes it will inspire others to reach out and help.
The story follows a predictable path without many twists and turns. I found it hard to stay with the book because of this. From the start it was obvious where the novel was heading.
Even with a predictable plot the book raises questions about war and if the trillions of dollars spent on them would be better served helping the world's poor. Sometimes the author states his point when there is no need to. The lives of the characters speak for themselves and we can draw similar conclusions.
I think each reader will come away wanting to help children living in poverty. Perhaps that's the best achievement of all.
Have you read Dragon House? If so, please share your comments.
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(Note: I received a complimentary copy of Dragon House from the Library Thing Early Reviewers Program with the understanding I would write a review).
Dragon House by John Shors. Copyright 2009. New American Library. 354 pages. ISBN9780451227850.