"They say that the history of Vietnam can be found in a bowl of pho, and from his handcart- kitchen, Old Man Hu'ng makes the best in all Hanoi. But a striking young Vietnamese-American woman - Maggie Ly - wants more from him than a bowl of soup. Just a young girl when Saigon fell, Maggie fled with her mother to America, leaving her dissident father to an uncertain fate. Now in her thirties, she has returned to the country of her birth in the hopes of discovering what became of him - and Hu'ng may hold the key. Maggie's guide through Hanoi is Tu, a street-smart young man as fluent in the ways of Western culture as he is governed by his own. Together the old man, the returning daughter, and the young entrepreneur become unlikely friends and allies; and as their stories gradually unfurl, each adds a new layer to another largely untold story: the story of modern Vietnam."