Linny and Van Luong are two second generation Vietnamese immigrant sisters from the American mid-West. Linny, the youngest, is pretty and popular but trapped in a cycle of dead-end jobs and hopeless affairs. Van, plain and socially awkward, is an overachieving immigration lawyer with a seemingly picture perfect marriage. The sisters have been locked in a relationship of mutual disdain for as long as they can remember.
When their eccentric elderly father, inventor of the "Luong Arm" (a gadget to help short people reach objects in high places), finally decides to take the oath for American citizenship in order to compete in an American Idol style reality show for inventors, the sisters must return to their childhood home to plan a party to celebrate the decision that took thirty years to make.
As they navigate their secrets, silences, and all that has seemed out of reach to them for so long, Van and Linny realise that they are not so different from each other after all...
A funny, heart-warming take on family unity and cultural identity -Marie Claire
An intelligent, bittersweet debut novel -Sunday Times
Nguyen is an amusing observer of assimilation angst...this gentle-comedy of inter-generational strife is a polished and poised affair -Independent