Sunday, August 07, 2011
The Beauty of Humanity by Camilla Gibb
The Beauty of Humanity Movement is a story told quietly but effectively, with smooth language which flows and fits the reserved nature of the characters extremely well. Each character shows a different perspective into contemporary Vietnam, but my favourite was definitely Old Man Hung with his refusal to give up his integrity even when it could benefit him. He is wise and kind, and through him Gibb shows the reader how family can mean more than blood. The novel also provides insight into the complex differences between cultures, specifically Vietnamese and American, and how even though Maggie was born in Vietnam she is seen as an outsider for her accent and modern-thinking.
It took me awhile to get into The Beauty of Humanity Movement but once I did it completely captured my heart. It's not that the book picks up pace, in fact the whole thing is told quite slowly, but rather that Gibb's storytelling is steady and consistent and after awhile I became completely drawn in and involved in the novel so that the details and background at the beginning became reward for a rich and deep story. I also fully recommend reading the book on a full stomach, much of the story centres around food and Old Man Hung's pho and Gibb's description of the food is incredibly realistic and tempting. I'm always excited to find another Canadian author I enjoy and although this is the first novel I've read by Gibb, but it has encouraged me to pick up another book by her, probably Sweetness in the Belly, at some time in the future. Overall, The Beauty of Humanity Movement is a steady and emotional story with incredible attention to detail and elegant, smooth writing with which Gibb lets the reader into a complex and unfamiliar world.
Release Date: April 6th, 2010
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