Jaime Huff's Reviews > Dragon House

Dragon House by John Shors
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's review
Aug 29, 2009

it was amazing
Read in August, 2009

How do I write a review about a book that tugged, actually, YANKED at my heart strings as much as this book did and give it the credit that is due? I am not sure but I will do my best.

The children of the streets of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon, Vietnam) are the heart and soul of "Dragon House". Tam, a child who is dying from Leukiemia, and her grandmother Qui beg on the streets just so Tam can have medicine to ease her pain. Mai and Minh held under the "protection" of Loc, an Opium addicted, cruel man.. or I would rather refer to him as a pimp, he may not sell the children's bodies for sex but he pimps them to sell their goods. Minh doesn't speak since Loc beat him for saying the wrong thing and Minh only has one hand. He plays foreigners in games of Connect 4 for money. Mai who is his voice sells fans but mostly helps Minh obtain players.

The key adult players are Iris, whose father an American veteran of the Vietnam war who wasn't around to raise her as he was battling the internal scars from the Vietnam war. When her father died, he left her the center he was building in Vietnam for street children. Noah, a childhood friend of hers who lost the lower portion of his leg in Iraq and who is battling his own scars, joins her at his mother's begging. Thien, Iris' father's assistant, a beautiful Vietnamese woman inside and out, finds beauty in each and everything she can. Then there's Sahn. He is also a survivor of the Vietnam war and has a disdain towards Americans after losing his entire family in the war but as a Police office with failing sight, he was to save the future of Vietnam.

Every single one of these people save each other in more ways then one. They find their futures, their souls, their lives, hope, family and love.

John Shors paints a vivid picture of survival, anger, cruelty, beauty and redemption throughout this entire book. He brings to life the trauma that the children who have to live and survive on the streets of Vietnam. Many of which never get another life off of the streets. Post war Vietnam is not a pretty place, don't ever expect it to be. There are horrific injuries sustained to victims of Agent Orange, street girls become prostitutes, opium addiction, and the same. There are many organizations out there trying to do what they can for the Vietnamese children, one of which is Blue Dragon Children's Children Foundation. (Here's the website: http://www.bdcf.org/)
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01/17 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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John Jaime,

I was just poking around on Goodreads, as I often do, and saw that you were kind enough to read my novel, Dragon House, and to give it five stars. Thank you so very much for your support!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

Best wishes,



Jaime Huff Hi John!

Any time! I really and truly enjoyed Dragon House and it opened me up to read your other books, I recently picked up Under the Marble Sky!

Keep up the great work all around!

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