I really don’t think anyone was more surprised than I was when I signed up for Hannah and Kelly‘s reread challenge. While I always loved going back to old favorites, I haven’t reread a book since blogging. Four years.. I thought their challenge would be just the motivation I needed and, while I aimed a little low (3-5 books), now that I have one book under my belt, I really don’t see myself struggling with the rest! To be honest, I’m really looking forward to this!
Last week I announced I was holding a giveaway for Bich Minh Nguyen’s Pioneer Girl, a novel I devoured last year and have been pushing hard ever since. What better way to kick off my rereading than by revisiting this book? Let’s see if it’s as amazing as I remember!
Almost exactly a year ago: January 21-23, 2014.
Surprisingly enough, only the ‘big picture.’ Naturally I forgot some minor details, both lovely and not-so-sweet (which led to a VERY uncomfortable situation while reading when I realized I had forgotten about a number of sex scenes and f-bombs…after I had sent a copy home with my tween cousin!) Lee returned home after receiving her PhD, but being unsuccessful at finding a job. Her mother is a very traditional Vietnamese woman and expects Lee to be the ever-faithful daughter while Lee’s brother Sam (a slacker at best, an outright thief at worst) can do no wrong. Naturally the house is tense, with Lee’s grandfather being the one to keep peace.
Years ago, when Ong Hai and Tran lived in Vietnam, they ran a small cafe during the war. One day an American woman stopped in, a journalist, and took a shine to the father-daughter duo. When she returned home, Rose left behind (intentionally or not) a small gold pin and it’s that pin that sets Lee into motion. That pin is described just like the one that had belonged to Laura Ingalls Wilder…and she had a daughter named Rose who became a journalist. Could this possibly be the same woman, the same pin?
Partly because I was doing a giveaway for the paperback’s release, partly because it’s been years since I’ve reread a book (and Pioneer Girl is a nice short one). It can be difficult recommending books to people when I know I loved the story and characters, but the details have faded.
For starters, terrible that I had mistakenly assumed this would be a happy-go-lucky book for a young girl (sorry, Uncle Paul!!). As for the book itself, I’m delighted to have reread it! When I read it the first time it made me want to binge on the Little House novels and that craving came back in full force this time around as well. Pioneer Girl has one of my favorite chapters of all time and I couldn’t wait to revisit it – it was just as wonderful this time! There were some minor issues I had with it that I either hadn’t cared about on my first read or hadn’t really noticed (the sex scenes, for example, felt random and unnecessary and really didn’t add anything to the story) that left a bad taste in my mouth upon rereading.
Absolutely! Just as Lee revisits the Little House series time and time again, I can easily see myself picking this one up and settling down for a quick read.
If for some reason I don’t hear back from Renae in 48 hours, I’ll use random.org to choose another winner.