One of the disappeared artists has a son who viewed Hung as a surrogate grandfather. This son and his family are the only kin the old man has. Maggie is a young Vietnamese-American curator who has come to Hanoi to find out more about her father, an artist who had been tortured, and perhaps killed, for his political views.
These characters have experienced Vietnam in very different ways but in the end they have more in common than they thought.
It took time for the story to engage me but I enjoyed the second half even though the ending was a bit too neat. I was left wondering how an Anglo Canadian writer could capture the nuanced history of Vietnam so well and was pleased when an explanation of how Gibb came to write this novel was included at the end.