“Ru” by Kim Thuy is the story of a young girls experience of growing up and running from her hometown of Saigon, to living in a desolate Malaysian refugee camp to finally settling down in Quebec. Nguyen An Tinh’s family was running to escape communists who they feared would take their lives. Essentially, their lives are automatically shattered as soon as they are forced to leave their home and are uprooted from all they’ve ever known.
Now a mother, Nguyen reflects on her parents reactions and decisions now that she is the parent to two young boys, Pascal and Henri. Henri’s upbringing is unique and requires extra attention due to the fact that he’s autistic. She specifically views her Mother’s decisions as sometimes harsh, but useful in the long run, because it has taught her to become a Mother that’s capable of handling any circumstances that might come her way.
This novel has a very poetic style to it, where it flows naturally and organically making it a powerful read from start to finish. There is a vulnerability present on each page making Kim Thuy’s translated novel a wonderful coming of age story that I think each and every one of you will enjoy!