The Bronze Drum (2022) by Phong Nguyen


This book is so important to me because as a Vietnamese girl who immigrated to Canada, I was missing the connection with my Vietnam history. And the book delivered everything I was hoping for: a bridge between me and my ancestors. It’s about the story of the Trung Sisters, how they become such a historical and an emblematic duo for the Vietnamese to come. Trung Trac the more disciplined big sister and Trung Nhi the free spirited one but so fierce. It’s an important story because it shows the place of the women, their accomplishments in a time where women were not seen as powerful. They have not only succeeded to raise an army, but to overthrow the Han Chinese in their battles.

I absolutely loved how the author delivered this story to us, making it accessible to the younger generation who can not necessarily read in Vietnamese, or those who can read it but not as fast as English (like myself). It’s a good historical fiction, the prose is not over the top but just enough to make us live through the action scenes, and keep us wanting to read more about it. Some of my book bloggers friends have found the characters one dimensional, and I must say that I didn’t agree with it because in between the lines I found each of the sister as complex as the other.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to initiate themselves to the history of Vietnam, while enjoying a good plot and twists and adventures.

Rating : 4/5

Big thank you to Hachette & Grand Central Publishing for the copy!

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