• Wandering Souls
  • Wandering Souls
  • Wandering Souls
  • Wandering Souls
  • Wandering Souls
  • Wandering Souls
  • Wandering Souls
  • Wandering Souls

Wandering Souls

Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Hardback Published on: 02/03/2023
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Bookseller Reviews

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Wandering Souls
Expertly intertwines the personal and the political
Three young siblings navigate emigration from post-occupied Vietnam in the late 70s without their parents or younger siblings. The narrative was crafted be... READ MORE
Wandering Souls
A sweeping, compelling and deeply moving tale of heritage, family and hope.
A sweeping, compelling and deeply moving tale of heritage, family and hope. Beautifully written with a unique style of storytelling and structure, Cecile P... READ MORE
Kate at Chichester Waterstones
Wandering Souls
Experimental and lovely
‘Wandering Souls’ details the surviving three children, Anh, Minh and Thanh, whose family were murdered during their escape from post war Vietnam. Ceci... READ MORE
Sarah Burden
Wandering Souls
Beautiful and so deeply moving
I really thought this book was going to be something shattering, but in the end I felt truly uplifted, and surprised by the hard-won happy ending at which ... READ MORE
Harry McWhirter
Wandering Souls
Deserves its place in the Women's Prize for Fiction longlist
4.5 stars rounded up because believability and immersion were 10/10. This was so close to being the perfect book. I wholeheartedly recommend. I normally... READ MORE
Wandering Souls
A Depth & Richness Swims From The Pages I Could Not Look Away
This is heartbreaking & heartwarming at the same time. A beautiful novel, but very upsetting , as the 3 older siblings set off from their Vietnamese villa... READ MORE
Nicole @hemelwstones
Wandering Souls
A Harrowing Story, Beautifully Told
"There are the goodbyes and then the fishing out of the bodies - everything in between is speculation." Cecile Pin writes with a deft hand in this debut... READ MORE
Wandering Souls
I really liked this one, though I suspect I will forget it quite quickly. For a short novel that covers such seismic events as it does, the easy style of t... READ MORE
Sean Farrell
Wandering Souls
searingly, beautifully hopeful
I'm at a loss for words. I cannot believe that this is a debut novel. Wandering Souls is a searing tale of grief, inter-generational trauma, diaspora a... READ MORE
Rhea | Barnstaple
Wandering Souls
Expert and emotional blend of fact and fiction
Within the first few pages I was weeping, as a loving family say goodbye to each other after sharing a last supper of their favourite foods. Fleeing from ... READ MORE
Beth at Chesterfield
Wandering Souls
Impactful, Important, Immortal
This is such an important addition to the narratives of the immigrant experience. Reminiscent of Ocean Vuong's 'On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous', but in T... READ MORE
Liv, Newbury
Wandering Souls
Hard to believe it’s a debut novel!
Wandering Souls is the harrowing story of a Vietnamese family making a treacherous journey across the sea towards a promise of a better life. As time goe... READ MORE
Bella at Canterbury
Wandering Souls
Beautiful and haunting
This is such a beautifully written book. The language Cecile Pin uses is poetic and thoughtful. There's a quiet beauty to it that utterly hypnotised me. I ... READ MORE
Emma Smith at Bedford
Wandering Souls
A unique and powerful debut
I picked this book up knowing very little about it, but I'm so glad I did. This debut novel from Cecile Pin taught me so much. It tells the story of three ... READ MORE
Rebecca at Tunbridge Wells
Wandering Souls
A fantastic debut
This story of a family fleeing Vietnam is heartbreaking but ultimately hopeful. A compelling read and one that will stay with you.
Julie at Hatchards
Wandering Souls
A fantastically imaginative and affecting novel
4.5 An excellent debut which explores timely issues around war, refugees, cultural differences and remembrance with touching grace and charm. The story of... READ MORE
Sam E
Wandering Souls
A beautiful story!
'Wandering Souls' tells a story set in Vietnam all about the connection of family and hope. Taking place over the course of a boat trip taken by three sibl... READ MORE
Meg Elkins
Wandering Souls
Incredibly heartfelt
Cecile Pin has done a fantastic job at connecting us with the characters of her debut novel. The inclusion of Dao's perspective tugged at my heartstrings. ... READ MORE
Holly at Oldham
Wandering Souls
Absolute Pure Gold!
What a gorgeous, moving, intricately written novel, beautifully interspersed with Vietnamese spirituality. Wandering Souls follows three refugee siblings i... READ MORE
Hannah at Hanley


An extraordinary and heartbreaking debut novel about the bonds that connect people even when separated by seas or death itself.

There are the goodbyes and then the fishing out of the bodies - everything in between is speculation.

One night, not long after the last American troops leave Vietnam, siblings Anh, Thanh and Minh flee their village and embark on a perilous boat journey to Hong Kong. Their parents and four younger siblings make the crossing in another vessel but as weeks go by it becomes clear that only one party has survived the voyage.

Anh, Thanh and Minh suddenly find themselves alone in the world, without family or home. They travel on, navigating refugee camps and resettlement centres until, by a twist of fate, they arrive in Thatcher's Britain. Here they must somehow build new lives with only each other to turn to, but will that be enough in a place that doesn't seem to want them?

In this piercing debut, the siblings' faltering journey is deftly interwoven with the voice of their lost younger brother, Dao, following them from a place between the living and the dead, and the records of an unknown researcher intent on gathering the strands of their story. Revelatory and inventive, Wandering Souls paints a heart-wrenching portrait of a family in unimaginable adversity while exploring the healing power of stories.

  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • ISBN: 9780008528775
  • Number of pages: 256
  • Weight: 370g
  • Dimensions: 222 x 141 x 25 mm

Customer Reviews

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Wandering Souls
A Hauntingly Beautiful Debut..
The hauntingly beautiful debut novel charts the heritage of the young girl’s family history. Pin cleverly uses multiple narrators to tell the story from ea... READ MORE
Emine at Bromley
Wandering Souls
Such an emotional & moving read!
Thank you to the publishers for this early read, I had sat on this in my pile for a while as I feared tissues would be the only thing getting me through it... READ MORE
Fiona Sharp
Wandering Souls
Beautifully written and moving, with an inventive narrative style
I found Wandering Souls to be beautifully written, and very moving. I'm always a fan of an inventive narrative style, and so I enjoyed the different viewpo... READ MORE
Wandering Souls
The end of the Vietnam war and the fallout affected many many families. What better way to escape than to the land of big dreams, America. Anh accompanie... READ MORE
Amanda Duncan
Wandering Souls
I will be thinking about this book for as long as possible
Every now and then you read a book so beautiful that you have to sit with it before you can process your thoughts or start engaging with anything else. A b... READ MORE
Zeynep Kazmaz
Wandering Souls
Compelling story of goodness in the world and the human will to survive and thrive
A story about Vietnamese Boat people could seem sad and daunting. However Cecile Pin never lets tragic circumstances get in the way of seeing the "goodness... READ MORE
Desmond Carbery
Wandering Souls
Impressive Debut
Wandering Souls is a short but moving account told through different narratives of the experience of three young siblings who flee Vietnam by boat in searc... READ MORE
Jill Thomson
Wandering Souls
Insightful historical novel
It has been both a pleasure and a privilege to read this well written and insightful book. The story of a family from Vietnam who try to leave after the Vi... READ MORE
Steven Capel
Wandering Souls
Read in two sittings, didn’t want to put it down
The book club I am part of won free copies of Wandering Souls to review from The Reading Agency. We are posting our individual reviews before discussing to... READ MORE
Heather Cooper
Wandering Souls
A stunning debut
“Everything will be alright, you’ll see,” 16-year-old Thi Anh promises her younger sister Van one night in 1978 as she and two of her brothers leave Vung T... READ MORE
Georgina (ReadsEatsExplores)
Wandering Souls
Powerful debut novel about the journey of a family of Vietnamese refugees
“I always pictured ghosts as old, wise, playful souls, with lengthy beards and wrinkly skin. It hadn’t occurred to me that there could be seven-year-old gh... READ MORE
Vivienne O'Regan
Wandering Souls
Emotional and heartbreaking
An amazingly easy read for such an emotive and heart-wrenching story. Told in a variety of voices, this story takes you on Anh's traumatic journey from Vie... READ MORE
Leah Adams
Wandering Souls
Lyrical and Brutal, This is a Timely Reflection on the Plight of Refugees
Anh, Thanh and Minh have survived the Vietnam war when others in their village have perished. As the situation in Vietnam deteriorates thanks to internal p... READ MORE
Katy Wheatley
Wandering Souls
A story told simply but packed with a punch
Heartbreaking. A family torn apart fleeing their homeland. Full of grief and loss and hope, expertly woven tale of colliding cultures, family bonds and hum... READ MORE
Judith Bramhall
Wandering Souls
A reminder of the forgotten boat people of Vietnam
The book was a page turner from the start. I was invested in the family from the first chapter and was taken along their perilous journey. It was a good re... READ MORE
Mums and Tots Bookclub
Wandering Souls
The heartbreaking story of three siblings, who become refugees, navigating their way from Vietnam to 1989's England, having lost the rest of their family. ... READ MORE
Debbie Hall