Karin Esterhammer

SO HAPPINESS TO MEET YOU: Foolishly, Blissfully Stranded in Vietnam (Prospect Park Books)

Cover“The perfect read for the armchair expat.”  –Mark Haskell Smith, author of Naked at Lunch

In 2008, Karin Esterhammer was jolted awake from the American dream when she lost her longtime job in a massive layoff.  Saddled with credit-card debt, a self-employed husband, car loans, and a mortgage as big as the GDP of Liechtenstein, she convinced her husband to sell nearly everything they owned and move with their autistic eight-year-old son to Vietnam.  In a country where you can get a great meal for eighty-five cents, she figured they could get jobs teaching English, live frugally, and ride out the recession.  She figured they’d return home in a year with cash in the bank.  She figured the global economic meltdown wouldn’t touch them in Vietnam.

She figured wrong.

In the great tradition of Bill Bryson and J. Maarten Troost, SO HAPPINESS TO MEET YOU is a captivating travel memoir that’s as rich in heart as it is in vivid, hilarious observations about Karin’s life in one of the world’s most fascinating places.

"Karin Esterhammer's sharpshooter's eye for detail captures the Vietnamese people, their culture, and the pretzels an American family has to twist themselves into in order to adapt."  --Phil Doran, author of The Reluctant Tuscan