Poetic and captivating. The Vietnamese proverbs sing to your soul while the story Nguyen Phan Que Mai unfolds lashes at your hope for humanity. — Laura Kay
With the epic sweep of Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko or Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing and the lyrical beauty of Vaddey Ratner’s In the Shadow of the Banyan, The Mountains Sing tells an enveloping, multigenerational tale of the Trần family, set against the backdrop of the Việt Nam War. Trần 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 tore not just her beloved country, but her family apart.
Vivid, gripping, and steeped in the language and traditions of Việt Nam, The Mountains Sing brings to life the human costs of this conflict from the point of view of the Vietnamese people themselves, while showing us the true power of kindness and hope.
The Mountains Sing is celebrated Vietnamese poet Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai’s first novel in English.
ABOUT LAURA KAY. Laura Kay recently graduated from the University of Utah with an MFA in ballet, is currently reading Ta-Nehisi Coates in her Bremerton book group and sings to her pet orchid. Go figure. Otherwise, you can find her frolicking in the mountains, or teaching dance at the Bainbridge Dance Center when she’s not trying to figure out why our poetry section is adjacent to our collection of the Farmers’ Almanac and SAT college prep books.