Comments for Inside Out and Back Again
Inside Out and Back Again: 08/08/14
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai covers a year in the life of Hà and her family. She is the only daughter and believes their last year in Saigon was cursed by her breaking with tradition. The floor on New Year's morning should be walked on by a boy and she beats her brothers to the punch, hoping to make her own destiny.
For readers who know their history, what's really going on is the Vietnam War. It has nothing to do with Hà's feminist leanings. In that year, though, going from March to February, covers their fleeing from Saigon, the time on the ship, and ultimately relocation to Alabama.
For the amount of hardship and heartbreak Hà and her family go through, the book remains remarkably upbeat and hopeful. Part of this is how it's written — in verse. These poems, each one standing in for a chapter in Hà's experience, bend and break poetic form in ways that parallel her rebellious side.
We listened to the audio version of the book on a drive to Oregon. The reader does an excellent job of bringing Hà to life.