"Gibb fluidly takes the reader from the bitter years of war to the Hanoi that has emerged in the reform era, which, despite all its modernzation, is still a mystery to many of us."
"Well written and engaging, with characters that represent the participants and consequences of a country in the middle of great change."
"Camilla Gibb's previous novel, the Scotiabank Giller Prize short-listed Sweetness in the Belly, with its examination of Lilly, a white Muslim woman in Ethiopia and London, flew off bookstore shelves, and it's likely that The Beauty of Humanity Movement will as well...Gibb has created her own 'Beauty of Humanity.'"
-The Globe and Mail
"Another winner from Gibb."
"...[Gibb] isn't satisfied with merely creating convincing characters and a bold plot. She educates and enlightens the reader whose grasp of Vietnam's history and culture may be based on little more than the vague recall of old headlines."
"...a dynamite read."
-Post City Magazine
"Gibb writes with a disarming simplicity well-suited to her story... Gibb's largely unadorned writing is... delicious for its austerity and complexities."
"Simply heartwarming. The writing, story and understanding brought to the book left me astonished, predicting that when award time comes around, Camilla Gibb's name will loom large."
"In [Gibb's] hands, pho becomes a poignant testement to the tenacity of Vietnam itself."
"Camilla Gibb drapes her story over good strong bones — characters (including the grandson of a poet friend of Hung's) that span several generations, the nobility of the artists in contrast to the war and its political players. But the true beauty of the novel radiates from the details — the smell of the soup, the feeling of the early-morning streets, the sense of community in poverty and the community woven by memories."
"Part history lesson, and part social commentary on Vietnam’s past to future, Movement’s flawlessly constructed characters satisfy like a warm bowl of pho after a wicked-bad hangover. ...an absorbing read...Gibb’s thoughtful and intricate writing weaves an unforgettable portrait of the past and present, and her observations of humanity make clear the similarities in all of us."
"...delicious little novel... Inspired by the real-life Nhan Van affair, it achieves one of fiction's greatest aims: making the personal universal, and vice versa."
"A lot of recent history comes alive in this delightful novel. That's Camilla Gibb's strong suit, that she can deftly invent characters foreign to us who represent various historical turns yet make us feel their reality - their humanity is how she of course would put it, even as they go lurching or marching or, as in Old Man Hung's case, wobbling toward their destinies."
“A novel whose hero is an ancient Vietnamese noodle-seller might sound a bit of a stretch. But if I tell you that only five pages in I was rushing into the kitchen looking for soy sauce and chopsticks you have some idea of how compelling this book is. Hung, the noodle-seller, once ran a restaurant where, in the dark days of Ho Chi Minh, dissident poets, artists and writers gathered. Now the grand-daughter of one of those artists, the American-raised Maggie, has come back to Hanoi looking for clues to her ‘disappeared’ relative. Can Old Man Hung give her the answers? And why hasn’t he spoken to his neighbour, who he used to love, for 40 years? It’s a sort of Indochinese Gabriel Garcia Marquez and the most moving, romantic, funny and informative book I have read in a long time." -Wendy Holden, Daily Mail
“The Beauty of Humanity Movement has a delicious cover, but all is not so alluring in Camilla Gibb's "fascinating portrait of modern Vietnam" (to quote British paper The Independent). Gibb welds the stories of a young tour guide leading Westerners on war tours through Vietnam, a Vietnamese-born American returning to her homeland to uncover the fate of her dissident father, and Old Man Hu'ng, who has spent his life scratching out a living from selling soup on the streets of Hanoi. "Gibb's poised and thoughtful novel does not flinch from horror but is also open to the beauty of this scarred country," says the Guardian.”
"The Beauty of Humanity Movement traverses themes of identity, belonging, the ongoing impact of conflict and the power of art, contrasting the "real Vietnam" of Hu'ng and Tu with the stereotypes seen by many tourists."