Thursday, October 14, 2010

Review and Giveaway - Dragon House by John Shors

I just finished a beautiful novel titled Dragon House by John Shors. This novel really pulled at my heart and left me thinking about the characters, and the real live street children living in Vietnam.

The story is about Iris, who promised her dying father she would continue to live his dream of opening up the Iris Rhodes Center for Street Children in Vietnam. Iris’s father, who was a soldier during the Vietnam War, decided to give back to Vietnam by opening this wonderful center for the children who have been living on the streets. Iris is joined in Vietnam by Noah, an Iraq war veteran who lost his leg during an explosion that killed his best friend. Dealing with his own demons, and trying to please his mother, Noah reluctantly accompanies Iris to Vietnam.

We are also introduced to several Vietnamese. Thien, who is the manager of the center, is a calming influence on both Iris and Noah. She is the one who knows how to get things done, and helps in every way to open the center. We meet Qui and Tam, a grandmother and her granddaughter, who have been forced to beg on the streets to be able to buy food and medicine. Mai and Minh are two young children who have been abandoned by their parents. They are forced to beg, sell postcards and fans, and play games against foreigners in order to raise money to give to the man who “protects” them from harm. This man spends the money they earn all on Opium and prostitutes, while leaving the kids barely enough to eat.

Not only do you get instantly drawn in to the characters and everything that’s going on with them, but the descriptions of Vietnam are very vivid. You can almost feel the wind in your hair when Shors talks about dodging potholes and other vehicles while moving around the city on a scooter. The scenery and characters are talked about with such care, you know that a lot of time, effort and emotion was put into this novel.

John Shors is dedicating part of the profits of Dragon House to the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, which works with children in crisis throughout Vietnam. This organization gives these children a chance at a different life – and what more can you ask for, really? Please visit John Shors’ website to learn more about the author, his books, and the charitable organizations he supports.

I highly recommend this novel. It was an emotional ride at times, just thinking about everything that these characters had to go through. You will be thrown right into this whole other world, and I would guess that you will be touched by this story.

In fact, I want to pass this one along, so I am going to host a giveaway!!! All you have to do is leave a comment here on this post by Friday, October 29. I will use Random.org to choose a winner!!! Be sure to leave a valid email address, if not, you will not be entered. I need to be able to get a hold of you, right?! Good luck to everyone, and happy reading!!!!!

13 comments:

Christine said...

Hey, I really like your blog! I haven't read any books with Vietnam as a setting but did enjoy Still Life with Rice (Korea) and for children's books, Seesaw Girl and A Single Shard, all set in southeast Asia.

Say hi to Tori for me!

chsturgeon@gmail.com

bermudaonion said...

I'm glad to see you loved this so much! I already have a copy, so don't enter me.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I'll have to add this to my wishlist for when the TBR mountains shrink a bit. So please don't enter me, lest the mountains topple.

I'm dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you.

Jonita said...

I've been hearing a lot about John Shors' latest book, "The Wishing Trees" lately, and would love the chance to read "Dragon House". Thanks!

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

violet said...

I have been wanting to read any of the John Shors books since a long time. Please enter me if international

violetc dot books at gmail dot com

Beatrice said...

Sounds like a great book. I'd love to read it. I love reading books about other cultures, because I feel mired in American culture most of the time.

Thanks for the giveaway!
mykingdomforabook(at)gmail.com

Carol M said...

I've heard that John Shors books are very good! I'd love to start with this one! Thank you!
mittens0831 at aol dot com

BUSY BEE said...

I must be out of the loop--haven't heard about this one yet. Can't wait to read it now. Thanks for the review.

bsyb100 at gmail dot com

Romance Movies said...

Great review! This sounds like a really well-written and intriguing story. Definitely will have to add this to my to-read list. Thanks for the post!

Tribute Books Mama said...

Great review thanks!

Jennifer H said...

Great blog! You show so much enthusiasm for your work! Thank you, too, for the review of Dragon House. It's definitely a heart tugger. Would love to read it!

eatdrinkrun said...

Pick me! :) I need a new book to read and this looks great!

minishoes1 said...

I would love a chance to read this book!Reading about what other people go through makes a great book! I know my sister would love to read it too. Thanks! jacquecurl1(at)gmail(dot)com