Saturday 12 May 2012

Soldier, Lily, Peace and Pearls by Con Cú, Deux Voiliers Publishing 2012

Soldier, Lily, Peace and Pearls spans many countries and many people's lives. It begins in Vietnam and Cambodia when the victory of the Communist forces in 1975 result in the persecution of almost everyone associated with the former US-backed governments. Quan, a young boy from a rich Chinese-Vietnamese merchant family, is sent to a collective farm near the border with Thailand. There tragedy befalls him and his sister Hue. In Saigon, a young girl, Minh Chau, is imprisoned with mother and sister, while their father is sent to a re-education camp for former South Vietnamese officers. Three years later, Quan and Minh Chau meet in a refugee camp in Malaysia where Quan becomes Minh Chau’s protector for life. This is only the beginning of an intricate tale of intense suffering and joy, which takes the protagonists on separate paths to Canada, where a soft-spoken university student helps Minh Chau’s family adapt to their new home before setting off on adventures and tragedies of his own in Rwanda and the Middle East.

Canadian author Con Cú provides poignant insight into the human condition with his scholarly ear on world history and politics while telling a tale of several brave souls who were forced to face serious hardships in the struggle to escape their occupied country. Also depicted are glimpses of hardened villains and the raw depravity of the human race, and yet moments of passion and endearing tenderness mixed with authentic heroism. The story is brilliantly told. I read the last three quarters of the book all in one sitting and was caught up in the narrative and the characters.

Chris Turner, Founder of Innersky Books, Wakefield, Quebec, says,

“The story is brilliantly told.  I read the last three quarters of the book all in one sitting and was caught up in the narrative and the characters.”

Soldier, Lily, Peace and Pearls can be ordered through,, and the and is available in Ottawa independent bookstores. Deux Voiliers Publishing is actively seeking new first-time novelists from the Ottawa-Gatineau area. See the DVP website at for contact information.

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