Part 3

Eighteen-year-old Hằng makes a difficult journey to America to find the brother from whom she was separated during the Vietnam War.
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definitions & notes only words
  1. chiffon
    a sheer fabric of silk or rayon
    Also there are two scarves, one green, one yellow, from fabric she knows is chiffon.
  2. ingenuity
    the property of showing inventiveness and skill
    An exposed dress reconfigured into skin-hiding day wear. Hằng is so impressed with Co-ra’s ingenuity she mimics every one of Co-ra’s many, many steps in putting on one item after another.
  3. hosiery
    socks, stockings, and tights collectively
    I’ve got a slip and hosiery and a bra and a belt for your tiny self.
  4. accentuate
    stress or single out as important
    You do splendidly in a flouncy, floral summer dress that adds the illusion of a fuller figure and accentuates your waist.
  5. palpitate
    beat rapidly
    How will Hằng explain she wasn’t thinking, only reacting to an image that conflicted with Bà’s many warnings still palpitating inside Hằng’s skull.
  6. retain
    allow to remain in a place or maintain a property or feature
    In such boots, she can stomp on almost anything, even miniature balls of spikes, and manage to retain beauty.
  7. diplomatic
    marked by tact in dealing with sensitive matters or people
    LeeRoy walks away, not trusting the calm. First, he was able to dodge the bullet with H, then Mr. Morgan is all diplomatic like.
  8. reckon
    expect, believe, or suppose
    “You reckon he’s telling the truth?”
  9. flourish
    grow vigorously
    Buried within such a floor must be countless bones, leaves, shapes belonging to lives that long ago drifted and flourished. Maybe not all flourished; maybe some were flung in and joined the immense burial ground at the bottom of the sea.
  10. diaphanous
    so thin as to transmit light
    More than likely she will dissolve into the salt, the currents. Each hair, each vein, each morsel of flesh, of skin shredded and nibbled until she turns diaphanous.
  11. obscure
    make undecipherable or imperceptible by concealing
    A blankness obscures details of his present. Favorite fruit, best friend, does he dream, when did he last cry? It’s pointless to push. He won’t reveal his present self unless she waits.
  12. reminisce
    recall the past
    An expert at waiting, she would maneuver a life beside Linh and cook and eat and talk and reminisce.
  13. incessant
    uninterrupted in time and indefinitely long continuing
    It’s exhausting, the incessant flip of emotions.
  14. implausible
    having a quality that provokes disbelief
    It seemed implausible after pirates and holes and worms she should be granted a meal so sublime.
  15. incite
    provoke or stir up
    Stretchy sleeves certain to incite a cyclone of questions inspired one indecipherable word from Ly-Roi: “Cool.”
  16. sublimity
    nobility in thought or feeling or style
    At any time in any place an act of horror is being committed. At any time in any place an act of sublimity is being felt.
  17. gaunt
    very thin especially from disease or hunger or cold
    The other girl held her smile. So charming that when a rescue helicopter appeared a day later, with UNHCR bright and bold on its belly, a gaunt man in eyeglasses and a white shirt did not believe in the girl’s emergency.
  18. expedite
    process fast and efficiently
    The girls were expedited to the last-stage refugee processing camp in Bataan, Philippines, where again they were fast-tracked to fly out of Manila after four and a half months.
  19. lush
    produced or growing in extreme abundance
    Dry, firm earth. So much of it that Hằng could walk for days in her new boots and never have to touch a lake, a river, an ocean. Walk for days across a land that is the opposite of a lush tropical island, a land where dust and blankness might allow her to thaw.
  20. relinquish
    part with a possession or right
    Maybe he means it, and the flying caterpillars could be relinquished. She tries to see his face hairless.
  21. yield
    give or supply
    There, the potassium was right in the soil to yield a big fruit, and local water had plenty of salt to retain water and work up juice.
  22. inscription
    a short message dedicating it to someone or something
    The book is waiting. He makes H turn around while he writes an inscription.
  23. sentiment
    tender, romantic, or nostalgic feeling or emotion
    His mama insisted on that, so years from now his sentiment will still be sitting on a shelf waiting for her.
  24. translucent
    allowing light to pass through diffusely
    But she doesn’t have time to scold him, points to a red round bunch with a second picture of white translucent flesh.
  25. sufficient
    of a quantity that can fulfill a need or requirement
    He doesn’t sound sufficiently surprised or grateful.
Created on August 11, 2020 (updated August 14, 2020)

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