Khanh Ha’s Flesh starts off gory – with a beheading. Following closely on its heels is a smallpox plague, and more death. Tai is only a boy when he witnesses the first and survives the second. Told in a spare yet emotional voice, Flesh then takes us along as Tai grows up and does everything he can to make sure his father’s death is avenged and both father and brother are buried well.This is a poor Vietnam, and its people do whatever they can to survive, including Tai. Along his journey, he recovers his father’s skull, packs opium pipes for his employers, meets a girl, and finds out that he really didn’t know his father as much as he thought. He does more than he thinks he can, less than he sometimes should, and is generally a young man growing into the world around him.Read Flesh to lose yourself in a vividly-described colonial Vietnam, with its poverty and hopelessness, its people’s industrious nature at work to better their lives and the lives of those dear to them, all wrapped up in beautiful prose.drey’s rating: Pick it up!