I found this book revealing a tiny bit more of the elusive and very private Madame Nhu. I seriously doubt we will ever know this woman, and frankly I believe she orchestrated this plan. She strikes me as a woman thoroughly taking pleasure in being an enigma, mysterious to the end and even loathed.
Demery confirms this woman possessed a thirst for power, her authoritarian demeanor very apparent, and barbed tongue gained her the title of “Dragon Lady.” She never allowed males to control or dictate to her, her actions were of her own accord. After the assassination of her husband and brother-in-law, she entered seclusion for over thirty years, again encouraging the veil of mystique and curiosity for many.
Demery attempts to connect the dots of Madame Nhu’s life through her self imposed isolation with questionable success. Nhu supposedly granted Demery access to her diaries, obviously a connection developed between the two.
I doubt the essence of Madame Nhu will ever be known, I doubt those closest to her ever fully understood this formidable creature or her talents, honestly I don’t believe she ever revealed herself to anyone fully, only she knew her authentic self.
Interesting, shedding light on a controversial woman during a turbulent and chaotic time in history. Madame Nhu will forever remain an unappealing question mark.
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by PublicAffairs (first published January 1st 2013)