1. What is Helen doing in the streets of Saigon when the novel opens and what does she see and do?
The protagonist, Helen, is introduced. The city of Saigon is in danger of falling. Helen, an American photojournalist, is determined to get photos of the end of the decade-long conflict in Vietnam. At the beginning of the story, she is traversing the streets, trying to get back to the apartment she shares with her Vietnamese lover, Linh. Although the way, Helen takes a few snap shots and is stunned by the looting and chaos that fills the streets. Helen finds a lost little girl and does not know what to do with her. The girl, only three or four years old, wails and cannot seem to calm down. She is unable to tell Helen where her mother might be. The mother intercepts Helen and takes the girl, much to Helen's relief.
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