Monday, July 27, 2009

after a long wait, a wonderful book

A friend at church recommended that I read "The latehomecomer: a Hmong family memoir" by Kao Kalia Yang, a Minnesota Book Award winner which she had really enjoyed reading. I requested the book once I got back to the library and, after a long, long wait, I finally got the book last week. I had to finish "Backstage with Julia: my years with Julia Child" by Nancy Verde Barr (I was doing my background reading before seeing the movie with the glorious Meryl Streep) so I finally got to start it over the weekend.

I was a little unsure if I would like it after reading the prologue (I was very put off by the writing style used), but once I started the actual story, I was hooked. Ms. Yang's parents were born in Laos and were newly married when the Laotian government decided to kill all of the Hmong people. They lived in the jungle with her father's family, running from the soldiers, constantly hungry and fearing for their lives. Under gunfire, the family, excluding one uncle and his family, escaped to Thailand and a U.N.-operated refuge camp. The story continues through their stay in the camp and their move to the United States.

Ms. Yang's writing is beautiful--I feel like I am there, a part of the story. Again, I am so grateful for my life of ease and plenty. I am also thankful that Ms. Yang has chosen to share her story for it is definitely worth reading.

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