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Apartment613 reviews Caroline Vu’s That Summer in Provincetown

that summer in provincetownIn a recent review of Caroline Vu’s That Summer in Provincetown for Apartment613, Ania Szneps elaborates on the book’s central themes, and on the ways in which Vu highlights them structurally throughout her novel.

Szneps explains that, in the novel, “Vu relives some of her family’s greatest hardships in Vietnam at the height of the war, their collective attempts at building new foundations and identities in North America, and reflects on each individual’s perceived success or shortcomings.”

Furthermore, she points out how Vu fits these themes into the structure of the novel:

“While Vu…allots each chapter to a family member, she also seamlessly interweaves their respective place in the household and highlights how an unnamed hierarchy based on a complex system of values shapes each person and determines their outcome in life.”

Szneps ends by stressing Caroline Vu’s “ease at writing” and pointing to her ability to provide a complete portrait of her subject: family, and the role that it plays in shaping identity.

“[The novel] treats the reader to a reflection on family and how each individual’s act can have unbelievable consequences on others. That Summer in Provincetown is (at times) a not-so-gentle reminder of the importance of family to our identity — whether we are willing to accept it or not.”

Posted in Fiction, Reviews.

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