Each Country has its own history left behind for the next generation. But when the history is painful and laden with war and loss, the next generation is also living that pain and hurt.
Of all the historical fiction books that I have read, this was my first time about the Vietnamese War. This is a poignant tale of resilience and heart.
The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai is a multi-generational tale of the Tran Family. The book is told in an alternative perspective in dual voices and spans around the half of 20th century. Tran Dieuu Lan, the matriarch and grandmother who narrates her childhood story. Next is Hương, the granddaughter, who is being raised by her grandma while her parents and uncles are out there in war which will not just tear their country in to two but also tears her family apart. Both the storylines are heart wrenching and riveting.
“That night and for the next many nights, to dry my tears, Grandma opened the door of her childhood to me. Her stories scooped me up and delivered me to the hilltop of Nghe An where I could fill my lungs with the fragrance of rice fields, sink my eyes into the Lam River, and become a green dot on the Truong Son mountain range. In her stories, I tasted the sweetness of sim berries on my tongue, felt grasshoppers kicking in my hands, and slept in a hammock under a sky woven by shimmering stars….”
Hương, finds comfort in her grandmother’s stories of surviving the war and the Land Reforms as she waits for her own mother and father to come back home. A well written story which is hard to digest as it will make you experience the war and the repercussion it has on the people. You will know what hunger is, hurt, pain, difficult choices, and hardship and amidst all you will see a line of hope that is giving them strength to hold on. 3 generations have been going through the same life of living in a torn land. The book is about resilience that the 3 women characters show. They have suffered, seen the worst, and yet come out strong to face a new day.
“My Grandmother used to tell me that when our ancestors die, they don’t just disappear, they continue to watch over us. And now, I feel her watching me as I light a match, setting fire to three sticks of incense.”
What is war? It’s nothing but the human cost and the loss that a family suffers. Be it on any side, one family is going to cry. The Mountain Sings is a beautiful rendering of the of Vietnam and its history.
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31 replies on “The Mountains Sing – Book Review The Bloggers League 2022”
Ummm a new style of reviewing. I liked it. There is something really interesting that I found about the book. Thanks for the review I will try to pick it up soon.
This book was so thing that I was yearning to read for a long time but not sure on its genre. But now i repent for not doing so after reading your wonderful review. Rightly it is mentioned about the history of past generation carrying to thr next. Keep Penning ❤️
I like the books you recommend and yes your reviewing style too. This book seems an interesting one that I would like to read. Thank you for sharing will add this to my tbr
I love to read the historical novel and mostly the war -story driven books. Your wonderfully written review inspire me to pick up this book. Thank you a lot to share this to tbr.
This book is on my tbr for long. Your review intrigued me to pick it as my next read asap. Thanks for sharing beautiful review
Books interesting and i would like to give it a read. Your style of reviewing is also fabulous.
Grandma stores are always very soothing irrespective of the subject line. War is never a good feeling and those who have survived through those times can know it better.
I am not much into reading historical fiction. but I am sure this book is a great read for those who love to read this genre. as usual, your review was crisp and to the point.
Amazing review. Thanks for this. This would be in my march list of reads
I have always liked how you review the books. And your reviewing style is amazing as usual. I’ll search this book and add it in my TBR
Thanks a lot.
The Vietnam War is one of the saddest chapters in Human history. The novel seems to be a really gripping and poignant account of the war from a Vietnamese perspective. Seems to be a really good read for sure.
Indeed A very well written book to make us experience the Vietnam War.
This is a beautifully written story. It’s a brutal portrayal of hardship, hunger, death, a history of the people of Vietnam spanning decades. Definitely include in my reading list.
Yes. The book is very well written
This looks like a lovely book to read. Books on war are not easy to read by any means. I remember when I was young, my grandmother used to narrate stories of war and I used to shudder in disbelief each time she narrated the ordeal. I loved every word of your review, Hansa.
Indeed. War stories share a sort of pain that you feel when reading…
War fictions are really emotional. The outline here definitely seems to be intriguing. Yet another good recommendation from you, will add to TBR
It’s a fabulous read.
The Mountain Sing seems an intense, and emotional story. Books on war are not easy to read. Love the way you reviewed this novel.
Such a beautiful review. I don’t know if I would pick this book to read coz whenever I read such type of stories, it affects me for many days after that.
This book looks really interesting. I love the cover too. I love such kind of stories that leave a lasting effect on me. Great review.
The book sounds very interesting. I really like your book reviewing style. Very impressive.
Wow, I love your book reviews. Will definetely give it a read!
What a beautiful review, you have brought out the pain and the beauty so wonderfully. Although I am steering clear from heavy books, adding this to my TBS anyways.
story told by three generations of women..! that itself tells the gravity of that story..
Sure that it’d become a great read
Such a well written review! This book is absolutely going in my next month read. Thank you for this book recommendation.
Such a well written review! This book is absolutely going in my next months read. Thank you for this book recommendation.
I really am fascinated with history so after your review this book is absolutely going in my tbr!
I love history and your review has really intrigued me!
This book is in my thr from as long as it is released in India but still I haven’t got the opportunity to get it. But now I really feel to have it.