Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
If this intriguing layered novel only told the family focused story of Lee Lien, a book-nerdy young woman with an on-hold academic career trying to straddle the contrasting cultures and conflicting expectations of modern America, where she was born, and traditional pre-war Vietnam, where her strong-willed mother and gracious grandfather spent the earlier parts of their lives, that would have been enough to capture my interest.
If instead Pioneer Girl was simply a literary mystery, with Lee Lien so obsessed by a book related incident that may connect her family’s former Saigon restaurant to the author(s) of the Little House on the Prairie series that she chases clues across the country, from dusty library shelves to colorfully painted San Francisco neighborhoods, even abandoning her normally somewhat passive upright nature long enough to slip archival materials into her handbag, I’d make sure to get my hands on a copy.
But Pioneer Girl is both books, and talk about obsessed, I couldn’t put it down. This isn’t the kind of mystery with dead bodies or definite answers, but that just made this coming of age quest all the more intriguing.
Here's the missing cover image: