The past and its long, reach into the future is expertly explored in this complex, tightly-interleaved story of a family’s escape from war-torn Vietnam. Told through the eyes of a female ghost-writer now living with her mother in America, the story begins when she’s visited by the ghost of her long-dead brother, setting off a chain of buried memories. Her past is one of ‘shattered palm trees and bomb craters. At the time, this was a normal childhood’. It’s gradually revealed that during their escape with a hundred others on ‘a fishing boat meant only to hold a fishing boat’s crew’, she evaded sexual assault only because of her brother’s bravery, an act for which he paid with his life. Both deeply political and personal, it’s a story of hauntings, and learning to move on from being paralysed by the past. It’s also about the revisionist stories we tell ourselves in order to get through life; ‘Stories are just things we fabricate, nothing more. We search for them in a world besides our own, then leave them here to be found, garments shed by ghosts’.