My Listen, Slowly Book Summary

Mai, a 12-year-old girl who is excited to enjoy the summer holiday with friends in America. Unfortunately, Mai’s plan for the summer holiday has to change when she finds out she has to go to her home country, Vietnam, with her dad and grandma. Her dad is going there to help people up in the mountains with medical needs as he is a nurse. However, Mai’s grandma and Mai, on the other hand, are going to Vietnam to dwell deeper into the case of Mai’s grandpa with the help of a certain detective. See the detective believes that Mai’s grandpa who was in the Vietnam war could have survived it. Therefore Mai’s grandma and Mai have to stay in Mai’s grandma’s old village. While at the village Mai discovers more about Vietnam people and their culture. Not only that but she learns some Vietnam remedies. The journey brings Mai new friends and new adventures.  Though of course, Mai at first felt uneasy and unhygienic. 

Throughout their time in Vietnam Mai, grandma and the detective find a clue that can lead to the case. They find a soldier who is believed to have assisted Mai’s grandpa in war. The soldier tells us his story and his perspective of the Vietnam war. He also tells us a bit about grandpa that grandma didn’t even know. With a good start of the investigation, they continue on with their journey.Whilst looking around for more clues Mai decides to check up on her parents to see whats going on in order to keep up in present times to make sure she isn’t too deep in the past.

After looking for more clues and connecting all the puzzles together they then end with a conclusion that Mai’s grandpa is dead. Grandma then realises that this time she has to really let go of grandpa. In order to let go of grandpa grandma and Mai both go and release grandpa’s spirit. After the case was done Mai was supposed to head back to America, but she decides to spend the rest of summer holiday in Vietnam with the request from grandma and the curiosity for her culture and her people.

Overall Listen, Slowly is a heartwarming and touching book. If you are a person who likes fast-paced books then you will not enjoy Listen, Slowly as it is a very slow-paced book.


This book is by Thanhha Lai.

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