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The Mountains Sing

The Mountains Sing

A Novel

Book - 2020
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"The multigenerational tale of the Trà̂n family, set against the backdrop of the Việt Nam War. Trà̂n Diệu Lan, who was born in 1920, was forced to flee her family farm with her six children during the Land Reform as the Communist government rose in the North. Years later in Hà Nội, her young granddaughter, Hương, comes of age as her parents and uncles head off down the Hồ Chí Minh Trail to fight in a conflict that will tear not just her beloved country but her family apart"--
Publisher: Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2020
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9781616208189
Branch Call Number: FIC NGUYEN 2020
Characteristics: 342 pages : genealogical table ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

A luminous saga stretching across generations against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, this novel explores what it takes to keep a family together and maintain hope while facing great adversity.

From the critics

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Dec 31, 2020

Laurie recommendation.

Nov 12, 2020

Sad and compelling story of a family across generations primarily in the north but extending into south Vietnam.

Oct 02, 2020

This is the story of a grandmother and granddaughter in Viet Nam told in 2 timelines. The current timeline is them surviving in Ha Noi during the Viet Nam war and awaiting for their family members to return from the fighting. The other timeline is the grandmother telling her life story of being forced to flee from her home by the Communist Land Reform in the 1950’s and having to start a new life with her 5 young children. This is a topic I haven’t read before and I came away with a better understanding and perspective of this country and it’s people. This was beautifully written and gave a great depiction of the resilience of the family as they suffered so much loss and sorrow and longed for peace and normalcy. Very Good.

Sep 21, 2020

A fantastically written novel with so much history and character development throughout. My heart ached with this family for all they had been through. The writer did an extraordinary job of keeping the storylines moving between the two different decades, making you feel apart of this family and for the historical background of the Vietnamese history. If you enjoy historical fiction, you will enjoy this.

Aug 27, 2020

The author tells the story of her family over the span of four generations. Most Americans, myself included, only know one part and one side. This book is informative and helps us to realize there is always another side and another point of view. This is worth reading, difficult at time due to graphic images of the difficulties in Vietnam over a span of 50 years. Give yourself time to get into the book and you won't regret it.

Aug 05, 2020

This is a beautifully written book telling the story of Vietnam (one family's experience) for almost a hundred years with the French occupation to the present. It's told through the eyes of the grandmother Dieu Lan and also with the voice of her granddaughter Huong. The heartbreak this family goes through, especially the grandmother, and how she perseveres is astounding, and the writing itself is beautiful.

I traveled to Hanoi and Sapa six years ago and this past year traveled through move of Vietnam from Saigon north. This book helped put the history of the country into perspective for me.

I highly recommend it.

Jun 18, 2020

Historic fiction at it's best. Nguyen bases this story on her family's past. Parents, grandparents, and descendants were scattered before and during the Vietnam war. Politics were forcing one against another and violence and poverty reigned as a family was torn apart. Only time and fortitude will bring them back together. Such a beautiful, yet heart-wrenching examination of a time and place of a meaningful people.

May 21, 2020

A young woman and her grandmother tell the multigenerational story of a North Vietnamese farming family. Wonderful characters and storytelling from a different point of view than expected. Highly recommended. Ending will surprise.

Mar 29, 2020

I’ve been to Vietnam. I’ve read a lot about Vietnam, and yet I learned so much about what the Vietnamese people have been through in reading this fictional account told through the eyes of a young girl and her grandmother. The story moves between periods of tie. Readers are introduced to the duo in Hanoi, during the “American War”. It moves back in time through the grandmother’s stories to life before WWII, the Japanese invasion, and ends up in the 1980’s when the grandmother is finally reunited with her children. This is a gut-wrenching story of how tough the Vietnamese had to be in order to survive. When I visited Vietnam in 2016, I was amazed at how the Buddhist concept of compassion has helped the country heal. This book shows this over and over. For me, an American, whose classmates were going off to fight in Vietnam, I had no idea, that there was a Vietnam that was there before the war. I know there are still nine months in 2020, but I am sure this will be one of the best books I read all year long.

Feb 29, 2020

NY Times says generations of
Vietnamese family grapple with war and woman tells her childhood history to granddaughter (celebrated Vietnamese poet)


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