Monday, July 30, 2018
Son of Saigon by David Myles Robinson
Hank Reagan is a seventy-year-old, a wealthy man who spends his days playing golf or gin with another retiree, Norm Rothstein. Since Hank's wife died, he's just waiting at the retirement community he calls "the death farm" for his own death. Norm doesn't mind looking for his sixth wife, but Hank isn't interested in all the women who are circling. Then, Tran Xuan Mai showed up to see Hank.
Hank, a CIA operative was in Vietnam forty years earlier, and he and Mai were in love. When the Americans evacuated Saigon, he was forced to leave her behind, not knowing she was pregnant. Now, Mai wants Hank to find their son, a man who disappeared after his high school graduation. He'd be in his forties, but Mai knows Hank will be able to track him down.
This delightful, darkly humorous story is divided into two parts. Hank and Norm take to the road, picking up a dog, in Travels with Charley style. Their adventures and encounters along the way are unusual, to say the least. The second part focuses on Hank and Mai's son, a man who draws all of them into danger.
That's all I can reveal without spoiling an interesting story. Remember, this is a story whose core is in the mid-seventies. The seniors smoke weed. There is a lesbian relationship. There's violence. Don't think of this as just a pleasant road trip novel. If you're interested, though, in a dry, witty story of seniors taking on the world, think of movies - RED or The Bucket List. Son of Saigon features those kind of seniors on the loose. I loved it.
David Myles Robinson's website is www.davidmylesrobinson.com
Son of Saigon by David Myles Robinson. Terra Nova Books, 2018. ISBN 9781948749008 (paperback), 240p.
FTC Full Disclosure - I received this to review for a journal.