Thursday, June 25, 2020

American Dreamer Book Review & Book Tour Giveaway

I love memoirs--and, today, I have a memoir to share that follows a Vietnamese man throughout his life as he pursued the "American dream". Read my thoughts on American Dreamer by Tim Tran, learn about the author & enter the book tour giveaway at the end of this post.

Book Title:  American Dreamer: How I Escaped Communist Vietnam and Built a Successful Life in America by Tim Tran (Tran Manh Khiem) with Tom Fields-Meyer
Category:  Non-Fiction (18 +),  390 pages
Genre:  Memoir
Publisher:  Pacific University Press
Release date:   June 2020
Content Rating:  PG + M: The book contains some bad language and recounts episodes of murder, rape, and suicide.

“My goal in life is to make a humble contribution to the society that accepted and helped me when I was a person without a country.” — Tim Tran

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About the Book

"American Dreamer" is an inspirational, first-hand account of the motivating power of an immigrant’s dream for a better life. From the rural Vietnam of Tim Tran’s childhood to his eventual escape to America and his rise as CFO of a multi-billion-dollar company, Tran’s memoir is a lesson in perseverance and ingenuity. After he initially left Vietnam in 1970 to attend American universities on a USAID scholarship, Tran’s sense of commitment led him home shortly before the fall of Saigon in 1975. Suspected of being a CIA agent, he found life under Communism increasingly difficult and dangerous, and was forced to flee. During multiple attempts to escape, he encountered deceit, betrayal, and even murder. Finally, in 1979 Tran and his wife, Cathy, escaped with 350 others in a rickety, overcrowded boat, and faced pirate attacks and months in a Malaysian refugee camp before reaching their new home in Oregon. "American Dreamer," written with passion, unflinching candor, and wit, is an extraordinary debut that confirms the American dream is alive and gives hope to anyone willing to work for a better life.

My Review

The American Dreamer Offers an Amazing Life Story of Challenges, Perseverance, and Inspiration. I love memoirs because I love reading life stories--and the Tran's had quite a lot of life experiences to share! The American Dream and the United States, in general, have become so surrounded by negativity in so many ways today that Tran's story is one that I needed to read today. The challenges that the author faced, the hardships he endured--and the dark experiences that he channeled into the life of his dreams are shared openly and honestly with readers in a way that only the author could.

The American Dreamer is a Story That Readers will Not be Able to Put Down. I read the book from cover to cover in one evening. The author's writing style offers very precisely, very well written snippets from his life that share an authentic story with readers in a writing style that doesn't wander or meander--but isn't dry or dull. I was drawn to his story and had to keep reading from beginning to end!

Would I Recommend The American Dreamer by Tim Tran? I learned a lot from the author as I read his life story. I learned about Vietnam--and got a Vietnamese look at America (and Vietnam) and life during the Vietnam conflict. Tran presented his story in a straightforward, organized fashion that shared the details of his life as well as his emotional journey. If you have any interest in Vietnam history, refugee lives and the pursuit of the American Dream--by an inspirational pursuer--this is a fantastic story that should be on your reading list.

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Meet the Author

In 1970, Tim (Khiem) and Cathy (Thuy) Tran were top international students from South Vietnam who were awarded scholarships to study in the United States. They studied for two years at Pacific University in Oregon, after which Tim pursued his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley, and Cathy finished her degree at the University of Oregon. Per the conditions of their scholarships, the two returned to South Vietnam in 1974. When Saigon was overrun by communist forces in 1975, the family endured great hardships. In 1979, Tim and Cathy managed to escape via boat. After a harrowing, life-threatening voyage they were placed in a refugee camp in Malaysia.

Eventually the Trans were able to immigrate to the United States and became naturalized citizens in 1986. Tim went on to become the Chief Financial Officer of Johnstone Supply, and Cathy worked for U.S. Bank, then Standard Insurance, and became an accounting manager. In 2017, the Trans established a Library Endowment Fund at Pacific University. In honor of their gift, the library building on the Pacific University Forest Grove campus was dedicated as the Tim and Cathy Tran Library.

Connect with the author:    website

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this fabulous timely memoir that illustrates the American ideals.