Sunday, April 14, 2013

Truly happy and positive refugee

The Happiest Refugee: A Memoir by Anh Do
Rating: 5 out of 5 hearts
229 pages
Released: September 2012
Buy it @ Angus & Robertson

"Anh Do nearly didn't make it to Australia. His entire family came close to losing their lives on the sea as they escaped from war-torn Vietnam in an overcrowded boat. But nothing -- not murderous pirates, nor the imminent threat of death by hunger, disease or dehydration as they drifted for days -- could quench their desire to make a better life in the country they had dreamed about.

Life in Australia was hard, an endless succession of back-breaking work, crowded rooms, ruthless landlords and make-do everything. But there was a loving extended family, and always friends and play and something to laugh about for Anh, his brother Khoa and their sister Tram. Things got harder when their father left home when Anh was thirteen -- they felt his loss very deeply and their mother struggled to support the family on her own. His mother's sacrifice was an inspiration to Anh and he worked hard during his teenage years to help her make ends meet, also managing to graduate high school and then university.

Another inspiration was the comedian Anh met when he was about to sign on for a 60-hour a week corporate job. Anh asked how many hours he worked. 'Four,' the answer came back, and that was it. He was going to be a comedian! The Happiest Refugee tells the incredible, uplifting and inspiring life story of one of our favourite personalities. Tragedy, humour, heartache and unswerving determination -- a big life with big dreams. Anh's story will move and amuse all who read it."


I am so glad I finally got to read this because it was a wonderful book, I enjoyed every bit of it! I don't normally read biographys, I've read the popular ones "Marley & Me" and "Mao's Last Dancer" and I really enjoyed those as well.

Throughout reading I kept thinking to myself how positive Anh and his family are after all their continued bad luck. I think anyone who thinks there life is tough should read this and see that things may not be so bad and you must always look on the bright side of things.

There wasn't always bad luck in his life, Anh experienced some really good luck moments which were very uplifting. I've never seen Anh live on stage, but I would love to now because some of his stories in this are really funny. I loved re-telling them to friends & family so I could share a good laugh with them.

The editing of the book made it even more enjoyable. The chapters were at times quite long but there were lots of small stories within them that made you want to keep reading. Something else I really liked was all the Australian references throughout the book. Anh gave our beautiful country justice and made me appreciate how lucky I am to have grown up here. Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi!

On the cover

How can that smile not make you want to pick up this book and read all about the happiest refugee. It's not the prettiest cover I must admit but it will always bring back good memories whenever I see it. 

What I'm reading next: Pushing the limits by Katie McGarry

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