I don’t know if there is enough words to adequately describe how much I adore this book. It was the perfect mixture of humour, Tragedy, Drama, Family Life and Sibling affections.

From the first turn of the page I felt as though Anh Doh and I were having a conversation. His voice leaps from the page in the most engaging fashion that I found myself feeling as though I knew him or that we were somehow acquainted outside the pages of this book.

This is a story of a family leaving Vietnam in search of a better life in Australia. Do not begin to assume that you know this story, this is a courageous story told in the most heartfelt fashion, and never once does it become a sob story or a pity party in fact it’s the opposite. This is a stunning tale of courage told in the inimitable style of Anh Doh the comedian.

This book takes you on a journey through the eyes of a child fleeing Vietnam to the man he later becomes growing up in Australia and finding success as a Comedian of note, An avid Aussie Rules fan, A film maker and much more. This book will have you laughing and crying all at the same time. My only complaint is that it wasn’t longer!. I found myself not wanting to leave the world of Anh’s family and their story long after the book finished.

Everyone who reads this book has the same reaction, a mixture of pleasure to hear of how the family went from strength to strength to and grief to hear the sadness behind the laughter. This is a brilliant story.

It’s not difficult to understand why Anh Doh’s The Happiest refugee won not only Best Non Fiction book of the year at the Indy Awards but also Book of the Year. It is a fantastic story that will open a lot of people’s eyes to the struggle faced by so many but understood by so few.

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