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Novel set in Hanoi, Vietnam (Pho and more)

6th September 2012

The Beauty of Humanity Movement by Camilla Gibb, novel set in Hanoi.

1848877943.01.ZTZZZZZZThis is a delightful book set in Hanoi that darts back and forth in time, building up a history and weaving together the lives of several characters. It is a must for visitors who want to experience the city through writing, Hanoi just lifts off the pages. In this novel the reader truly does experience the city through author Camilla Gibb’s eyes.

When we were in Hanoi we naturally had Pho several times; all we can say now is that we wished we had tried Chả Cá also. Here’s a little extract from this book to get the taste buds going….

“As soon as they sit down, the waitress leans in over Từ’s shoulder, lights a burner and slams a pan of oil down on it….The oil begins to bubble and Từ throws the cubes of fish into the pan. He tosses in the dill and stirs it with his chopsticks until it wilts, then lifts the fish onto a bed of vermicelli and dresses it with peanuts and coriander”.

And as any traveller familiar with Vietnam knows, the moped is a prerequisite for transport. Here is an extract that just conveys beautifully that experience:

ZZZZ“The sky is heavy and grey and Maggie sits behind Từ and his father on the Honda Dream II, riding like a Vietnamese lady with her jacket on backward and a mask over her mouth. She seems more and more Vietnamese each time Từ sees her. She now eats her noodles noisily in the way that makes them taste best, and much to his relief she does not grip him around the middle any more when she sits behind him on the motorbike – she has developed her motorbike muscles.”

Tina for the TripFiction Team

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