House without walls by Ching Yeung Russell is a touching novel about the plight of refugees in finding a new homeland.
Eleven-year-old Lam escapes Vietnam with her younger brother Dee Dee during the Vietnam Boat People Exodus in 1979, when people from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia fled their homelands for safety. Lam and Dee Dee’s final destination is San Francisco, to live with their father. Their immediate destination was to reach a refugee camp so that they could travel to America.
Their sea voyage is riddled with cold, hunger, exhaustion and violent sea pirates. At sea, a kind family takes them under their wing and they spend with them until they leave to America. The plight of the refugees and the disapproval by the new countries was heart touching. In one of the countries they landed, they shipped the refugees back to the sea in malfunctioned boats, with the intent that they will die at the sea and will not return back to their country. This incident almost brought tears to my eyes.
The novel is narrated by the voice of Lam. The language was simple and direct. The simplicity of the language gave room for more interpretation regarding the feelings of the Lam and Dee Dee. A must read novel in today’s times when all over the world millions of people are migrating as refugees in their search for a new home that throws them a glance of acceptance.
Published by: 2019 by Yellow Jacket