“That night, after Grandma had fed her a bowl of pho, I sat guarding my mother.”…

“That night, after Grandma had fed her a bowl of pho, I sat guarding my mother.” 🧡

A beautiful and lyrical multi-generational story of the Tran family told in two timelines – one from the grandmother and the other from the granddaughter. It’s the story of how war impacts a family and showed that it’s not such a cut and dry, black or white issue. There are so many parallels I drew from this novel to my own Korean heritage. From a country divided into North and South to a people brutalized by Japanese occupation only then to have an internal war of its people. It brought to the surface many of the stories I remember hearing from my parents. Of my family’s home being taken over during the Korean war as a North Korean hospital. While a house may just be a structure, when it is something that has been an ancestral home for generations, the pain of losing it is still great. I learned so much about Vietnam during this time period – the Great Hunger and Land Reform. I think the Vietnam war was a paragraph in my AP US History Class – once again, we ran out of time after WW2 so anything after that was merely a mention. The proverbs woven throughout this novel were so beautiful. I loved seeing the Vietnamese language throughout the book. And it was an exceptional listen on audio. Thank you librofm and algonquinbooks for the ALC of this book! I listened to parts of it on audio to hear the language and to hear the names pronounced and the narrator does a beautiful job (I think, I am not an expert!) Read among with a group led by booksandbecoming – thanks for hosting, Laura! Highly recommend this beautiful English debut by nguyenphanquemai_ – stunning 🧡



13 thoughts on ““That night, after Grandma had fed her a bowl of pho, I sat guarding my mother.”…”

  1. This was such a beautiful book. I loved learning more about the time period. Thank you for this review- I love learning more about your experiences and heritage. ❤️

  2. Thank you so much for this beautiful review. YOour phở loooks so good! Yes @_quyenngo did a fantastic job in narrating The Mountains Sing. So thankful you like the story🤗❤️

  3. I love your review, Caroline, and this photo! So happy to read it with you!! 💜I’m sorry for the delayed reply to this post-I’ve been preoccupied this week 🙃

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