Details: Paperback, 390 pages
Publication: June 20, 2020 by Pacific University Press
Goodreads Synopsis: “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 Thoughts: Going into this one, I was a little nervous because I’ve never been able to focus on memoirs very easily. I get far too distracted, which leads me to preferring fiction. I chose to start reading this one about two weeks before my review was due just in case. It did take me a little longer to get through this one, but it had nothing to do with this book itself.
This book was written amazingly; Tim Tran truly has a way with words. The way he described everything made it feel as if I was there experiencing it myself. When it came to the more complex things, such as descriptions of his job, he used basic English which definitely helped me personally to understand. I also loved that he continued to make connections between people and events. This was extremely helpful to me as it helped me keep track.
This book taught me so much about this part of history. In my classes, we were simply taught the basics, but this went into such detail that it brought the entire situation to life. Tim Tran described the pain individuals and families both suffered.
I think my favorite part about the entire thing was how humble and sweet he seemed. Despite everything, he still looked out for others and helped them as much as he can. He seemed like the sweetest, most genuine person, which made the entire thing more emotional for me.
Overall, I absolutely think that everyone should read this book. It was touching and raw, and it opened my eyes. I personally had never payed much attention in history classes. I did just enough to get an A, then I’d zone out and read a book instead of listening. I truly wish that I’d discovered books similar to this when I still had those classes, because if I had, I believe I’d have been more invested in the subject.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via iRead Book Tours and am voluntarily leaving a review.
You can order American Dreamer from Amazon in the following formats:
Connect with Tim Tran (Tran Manh Khiem):