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Publisher's Summary

In the aftermath of the Vietnam War, a young girl and her family were exiled from city-living in Saigon to the countryside of Vietnam and, ultimately, escaped to a small town in Texas. Part travelogue and part family drama, this quietly affecting immigrant memoir will make you laugh, cry, and hunger for more, all at the same time. Through each traumatic transition, Oanh Ngo Usadi retains her optimism as she and her family adapt to new environments and cultures in their journey to become Americans.

©2018 Oanh Ngo Usadi (P)2019 Oanh Ngo Usadi

What listeners say about Of Monkey Bridges and Bánh Mì Sandwiches

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  • J. de Castro
  • 08-07-2020

Touching story, well told and not to miss!

This book, read by author herself, is a wonderful story of resiliency and strength of character despite hardships dreams can come true.
I prefer audiobooks bc I can enjoy them while working out/walking or resting my eyes, driving etc. I especially enjoyed this one because the author was the reader! What a wonderful story. It brought tears to my eyes, when she talked about her brother leaving the house and she was left alone. After living with so many siblings all her life and now none. A beautifully told story of how to make an American dream come true with hard work.
Recommending to all my friends.

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  • LMG
  • 07-04-2020

Meaningful, touching and beautifully written

I was initially dismayed that the author opted to read the work herself, rather than utilizing a professional narrator. Not long into the book, I recognized the importance of the story being told in the author’s own authentic voice. By the end, her voice felt like that of a close friend, and I was sorry we had to part. I learned a great deal from listening to this memoir, and hope to hear much more from Oanh Ngo Usadi.

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  • Daryl
  • 28-01-2020

shades of beauty

this book is an excellent choice for a cold and quiet evening. It's unlike many coming of age immigrant stories, and yet it doesn't stand out particularly well. there are shades of beauty here, a few moments that made me stop and reflect and then keep listening. however, by the end I wasn't as captivated with the story. The narration is good, but definitely unprofessional. but I am also glad that the author chose to write and tell her own story.
I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Jeff & Sabrena
  • 07-01-2020

Interesting and enlightening

I found this memoir very interesting and enlightening. I learned a lot about Vietnamese culture and customs. The narration by the author was obviously amateur but necessary given all the Vietnamese language and names present in the audiobook. Also, it seemed quite appropriate for the subject of the memoir to narrate her own story. Although her accent was detectable, I had no trouble understanding her narration. My only complaint is that I felt the story ended too abruptly with a few loose ends -- mainly, what happened to her parents and their business? Other than that, I enjoyed this memoir very much.

Note: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 13-07-2021

Fantastic and Inspiring

Highly recommend this title! Really makes you appreciate everything you take for granted. The author's account of what happened to her family and how they overcame their situation and started a new life in America is an inspiration and a reminder of how much the promise of freedom means.

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  • Ian King
  • 23-04-2021

I loved this book! I listened to it twice!

I learned so much about Vietnam and communism and how it takes over everything. I learned about surviving against the odds and yet, still having a positive dispensation through it all.
Oanh, and her family are incredible examples of rising out of the ashes and I'd so love to meet them in person, one day. They certainly are visionaries and rooted in good family values.
The first part of the book is about life in Vietnam. Much of their daily lives and milestones are talked about. Then the North begins invading the south with an unwanted war of total takeover. I can see much of what happened then, happening again in our lifetime and it makes me step daily forward with my eyes and ears open, and to the ground, alert. I now know how things change in an oppressed society, so very quickly.
Through the war years we see how Oanh and her family are forced out of their familiar life and into a total paradigm shift. I can see how the north causes their very core values and families to be challenged and how their every decision and action plays out (or, not - by default).
The second part is about that new life they have to make contrary to what they have always know.
The third part of this is about their escape from Vietnam and the time they spent in refugee camps. And finally the fourth part is about their new life in America and how, even though so much had changed in their life and should have destroyed them, yet they are still strong and kind to ne and all. I am going to try one of these famous Bahn Mi Sandwiches, when I find somewhere that makes them... Maybe I should open up a shop here in my own town!
Oanh narrates her own biography and does an exceptional job, even though English is a second language to her. Her written, oral and descriptions in her second language, are very refined and easy to read/listen to. She has gone on to make English a high priority in her life and has received (I believe) a degree in this second language.
This book/audiobook would be in my short, 'highly recommended' list, for sure!
I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • S. Del Rio Rancho
  • 21-08-2020

Just having been to Vietnam

I loved this book after having traveled the Mekong Delta in a small passenger boat. We stopped and visited such villages. Learning the life from resident point of view was fascinating! The difficulty escaping from the country and the political reasons why were eye opening.
However, I had a difficult time understanding her though the pronunciation of names were crucial. I could not take the sounds of the narrator swallowing and turning pages. I chose to buy the digital print and follow along.
This book and many of its sort are important to create empathy and foster tolerance.

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  • G C
  • 07-01-2020

EXCELLENT READ!

I absolutely loved it! This book caught my attention from the very beginning and held it throughout the entire book. The narration was excellent. It will keep you entertained! The author did an amazing job with her story! look forward to reading more books from this author! I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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