Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Freebie: Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh Nguyen

Congratulations to Celeste Young, winner of last week's Friday Freebie, The Orphan Choir by Sophie Hannah.

This week's book giveaway is the new novel by Bich Minh Nguyen, Pioneer Girl.  If you're a fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her Little House series, then Nguyen's book is probably already on your radar.  If not, then you better put it there!  But I think Pioneer Girl will have universal appeal to anyone looking for a good, satisfying read.  Here's more about the plot from the publisher's synopsis:
Jobless with a PhD, Lee Lien returns home to her Chicago suburb from grad school, only to find herself contending with issues she’s evaded since college. But when her brother disappears, he leaves behind an object from their mother’s Vietnam past that stirs up a forgotten childhood dream: a gold-leaf brooch, abandoned by an American reporter in Saigon back in 1965, that might be an heirloom belonging to Laura Ingalls Wilder. As Lee explores the tenuous facts of this connection, she unearths more than expected—a trail of clues and enticements that lead her from the dusty stacks of library archives to hilarious prairie life reenactments and ultimately to San Francisco, where her findings will transform strangers’ lives as well as her own. A dazzling literary mystery about the true origins of a time-tested classic, Pioneer Girl is also the deeply moving tale of a second-generation Vietnamese daughter, the parents she struggles to honor, the missing brother she is expected to bring home—even as her discoveries yield dramatic insights that will free her to live her own life to its full potential.
Praise for the pages: “Elegant, sharp-eyed, and very funny, Pioneer Girl is ultimately about how one finds kinship—familial, cultural, literary—that transcends the usual lexicon about identity and belonging. Navigating Vietnamese ‘immigrant guilt’ and a stalled academic career, Lee Lien finds escape in trying to solve a literary mystery which leads her deep into her own heart and history. A wonderful read!”  (Cristina GarcĂ­a, author of King of Cuba and Dreaming in Cuban)

If you’d like a chance at winning a copy of Pioneer Girl, simply email your name and mailing address to

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line.  One entry per person, please.  Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until midnight on March 13, at which time I’ll draw the winning name.  I’ll announce the lucky reader on March 14.  If you’d like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week newsletter, simply add the words “Sign me up for the newsletter” in the body of your email.  Your email address and other personal information will never be sold or given to a third party (except in those instances where the publisher requires a mailing address for sending Friday Freebie winners copies of the book).

Want to double your odds of winning?  Get an extra entry in the contest by posting a link to this webpage on your blog, your Facebook wall or by tweeting it on Twitter.  Once you’ve done any of those things, send me an additional e-mail saying “I’ve shared” and I’ll put your name in the hat twice.

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