The Man from Saigon by Marti Leimbach


Setting was during the Vietnam War, 1967, whereby a female reporter, Susan, was sent to cover women related news items amidst the war. In the process, he met another journalist named Marc and she fell in love with him but there’s one issue, Marc was married. She also worked together with a Vietnamese photographer named Son. Son wanted his work to get into the American Press. Together, they covered aspects of the war until one fine day…

After an ambush, Susan and Son found themselves prisoners of three Vietcong soldiers. Surprisingly, these three soldiers didn’t treat them as badly. They were given food and all. Fatigued , they all walked in the jungle to look for the three soldiers’ unit.  After all the experiences, Susan became fond of Son. She actually started falling in love with him.

Marc was back in the city getting crazy and irrational over Susan’s disappearance. Due to this, his company decided to bring his pregnant wife to Vietnam to fetch him and bring him home.  Something else happened in the process. Both confessed about their dirty little secrets. Marc confessed about Susan, while his wife confessed about the pregnancy. It was not his and there’s another man.

Susan and Son were “rescued” accidentally by the American soldiers.  The three Vietcong Soldiers were killed during this ordeal. Susan was able to prove she was a journalist, hence her release, while Son had a hard time, despite the proofs. Eventually, they had to part. Son promised her that their love shall continue once the war is over and Susan SEEMED to have believed and held on to that promise?

Was the secretive Son really “just a photographer” (or a spy)? The story didn’t answer this mind-boggling question. Same way, the question of who did Susan choose, was it Marc or Son?

I am hoping it’s Son though. =)

The Book contains a lot of dreamlike flashbacks and bloody, gory realism which sometimes, made me slightly lost in the book. It jumps from one story to another. I’ve to say though, that despite this, it made me want to read and see more.  I just loved the story…and Son!

Yes. I have to admit…I am Hopeless romantic…=b

Time for favourite quotes:

“You can love a person and  by doing so make everything harder” –pg 223

“I only came from the hotel, though I admit it was a bit of an adventure. You’ll get used to it here. Everything about this place is weird, but you kind of get to understand its weirdness after a while. And then of course, you yourself grow…


We like to call it acclimatize, but yeah. It’s inevitable.” Pg 229-230

“I knew wherever I was that you thought of me, and if I got in a tight place you would come- if alive.” Pg 328 (kinda sweet…;))

Lastly, Son’s secret letter to Susan, written in paper, with rise to inscribe.

“You can do anything with rice, the letter says, even write a secret message to a loved one! I have left for the place on the map (go look). She glances up at Son’s map and sees a tiny circle with two dashes for eyes and a smiling face, located just beside the city of Hanoi. I have much to thank you for, dear Susan. One day, when our countries are not at war, I hope you will come back to be with me, or that you will consider letting me come to you! Yes, a proposal of marriage, written with a rice starch, a first! For I will always love you, and have always loved you. If you do not hear from me, it is not because I have forgotten, but because where I am I cannot write to you, though always I am writing to you in my thoughts, telling you what happens each day until a time, I hope when we can once more have our days together. You must promise me to leave the country now. Yes, leave Vietnam! If I have paper enough and rice, I would explain more. Believe me, please, you must go. Leave before Tet. Tell Marc to leave too and Locke. Yours always, Son.” Pg 360-361

About Miss_Pia

Neurotic Health-care Professional who enjoys sleeping, running, reading, introspecting, pole art and exploring new things and sometimes, places!
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