Most books set in Vietnam are memoirs (returning vets or disappointed revolutionaries), travel books or personal journeys — from biking adventures to the ubiquitous return to ancestral lands. These are all great but HOW COOL to have fiction in “Hanoi Jane”. And this fiction is hilarious, with spot-on descriptions of Vietnam. The characters are infectious. My favorite was Mr. Thai, the secret policeman (a real part of living in Vietnam). This book is a perfect gift for anyone who has visited Vietnam, plans to visit or is curious about the country. I hope Ray writes more!
I was hooked on “Hanoi Jane” from the first page. Ray is a wildly creative, witty writer, using a combination of mystery and romance to tell the story of an expat woman in Hanoi jilted by her fiancé. Fresh, original, and often hilarious–I highly recommend this book as the perfect vacation or weekend need-to-escape read. Elka Ray has enormous talent and the potential to become a critically acclaimed author. Check out her website at elkaray.com!
Loved this book and couldn’t put it down. It’s a fun read, with characters who offer depth and insight – you’re never quite sure which way the plot will turn and that kept me turning the pages, eager for more. I’d highly recommend this and have already lent it out to my friends.
I haven’t plowed through a book so voraciously in a very long time. Ray’s descriptions of the streets of Ha Noi and northwestern Viet Nam were spot on and immediately transported me back to the days when I lived there, so much so that I had to remind myself that the book was a work of fiction. Hanoi Jane’s fast paced plot is very well written and a real page turner. I highly recommend reading this book, even if you don’t have a connection to Viet Nam. I look forward to reading more of Ray’s work very soon!
What a great, easy read- I live in Saigon, and the setting is authentic. Funny characters. The writer is a witty linguist and the story was not only funny, it was super interesting and kept me entertained . I highly recommend this book. Enjoy!