The Mountains Sing (Paperback)
  • The Mountains Sing (Paperback)
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The Mountains Sing (Paperback)

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£8.99 £7.49
Paperback 352 Pages / Published: 01/07/2021
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Waterstones Says

An unsparing and lyrical coming-of-age novel set in 1970s Vietnam, The Mountains Sing blends a powerful family story and the horrors of the war together into a haunting tale of identity, love and loss.

One family, two generations of women and a war that will change their lives forever

Ha Noi, 1972. As war breaks out in Viet Nam, twelve-year-old Huong clings to her grandmother in an improvised shelter as American bombs fall around them. For her grandmother, the experience is horribly familiar. This is a woman who knows what it takes to hold a family together as a country crumbles. And now, coming of age in a nation rocked by conflict, Huong must do the same.

With the epic sweep of Min Jin Lee's Pachinko and the haunting beauty of Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, The Mountains Sing tells the enveloping, multigenerational tale of the Tran family, intimate, lyrical and bursting with life.

Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 9780861540136
Number of pages: 352
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 26 mm
Edition: MMP


MEDIA REVIEWS

'[An] absorbing, stirring novel... Que Mai contains her saga with a poet's discipline, crafting spare and unsparing sentences, and uplifts it with a poet's antenna for beauty in the most desolate circumstances. She evokes the landscape hauntingly, as a site of loss so profound it assumes the quality of fable.' - New York Times Book Review

'A sweeping story that positions Vietnamese life within the rich and luminous history of national epics like The Tale of Kieu and The Iliad. Expansive in scope and feeling, The Mountains Sing is a feat of hope, an unflinchingly felt inquiry into the past, with the courageous storytelling of the present. - Ocean Vuong, author of On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

'The Mountains Sing is an epic account of Viet Nam's painful 20th century history, both vast in scope and intimate in its telling. Through the travails of one family, Nguyen Phan Que Mai brings us close to the horrors of famine, war, and class struggle. But in this moving and riveting novel, she also shows us a post-war Viet Nam, a country of hope and renewal, home to a people who have never given up.' - Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prizewinning author of The Sympathizer

'A Vietnamese poet conjures history and fate in a luminous tale that resonates across generations as one family grapples with the psychic residue of war.' - O, The Oprah Magazine

'A luminous, complex family narrative... Que Mai [has] an astute and graceful ability to sustain contradictory truths about war, displacement, aesthetic representations, and human nature... The Mountains Sing affirms the individual's right to think, read, and act according to a code of intuitive civility, borne out of Vietnam's fertile and compassionate cultural heritage.' - NPR

'A sweeping saga... Alternating between lyricism and blunt reality, Nguyen Phan Que Mai gives us a vivid look at Vietnam from within.' - People Magazine

'Nguyen Phan Que Mai's sweeping tale proves on every page that despite war-time tragedies and numbing ugliness, the human desire to forgive and thrive soars as high as the mountains.' - Thanhha Lai, National Book Award-winning author of Inside Out and Back Again

'A mesmerizing, devastating, searing and utterly authentic and deeply human novel. Cannot recommend highly enough!' - Lynn Novick, co-producer of The Vietnam War documentary

'Lyrical, wrenching, sometimes painful to read, but ultimately glorious in affirming the resilience of the human spirit. In these traumatic times in which we are facing hard times as a global community as well as a nation, it is life-affirming to be reminded that many in our human family have endured difficult histories before and come through with kindness, kindredness, love, hope, and wonderful novels that will make your heart - as well as the mountains - sing!' - Julia Alvarez, author of Afterlife

'Devastating... From the French and Japanese occupations to the Indochina wars, The Great Hunger, land reform and the Vietnam War, it's a story of resilience, determination, family and hope in a country blighted by pain.' - Refinery29, 'Best New Books, August 2020'

'A glorious novel which sweeps across land, generations and hearts... A rare gem that I will never forget.' - The Write Review

'I learned so much that I needed to know about Vietnam... This book, first and foremost, is one of the most significant contributions to literature.' - Natalie Jenner, author of The Jane Austen Society

'Such a good book... I was so impressed with it that I sent my mom a copy, and my mom is 85!' - Andrea Nguyen, author of The Pho Cookbook

'A vast, epic historical novel set against the backdrop of the Viet Nam conflict through the eyes of the people themselves.' - Ms. Magazine

'A moving tribute to the author's own family, but also to the people of Viet Nam and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it... If you enjoyed Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, or The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See, this is undoubtedly one for you.' - Reads & Reveries

'The Mountains Sing is an epic novel weaving together stories of four generations of the fictional Tran family...The novel is poetic, absorbing and illustrative of the enormous sacrifices of the Vietnamese people, particularly the women.' - The Green Left, Australia

'Epic in scope, and a celebration of the human spirit, The Mountains Sing is a story you won't soon forget.' - PopSugar, 25 of the Best New Books to Add to Your Reading List This Spring

'A panoramic epic... Like the work of Duong Thu Huong, who deserves the Nobel one day, this book brings to life a crucial part of Vietnamese history from within. Your heart will not leave this book untouched.' - Literary Hub

'Nguyen Phan Que Mai had me entranced by her simple yet poetic storytelling... [She] puts her whole heart into this narrative, and what shines through amongst the shards of a broken nation, is a whole lot of hope, courage, and love... I don't think I'll ever stop praising this book.' - Em's Shelf Love

'The Mountains Sing is a testament to love that explores the inescapable ways in which history binds itself to us and how the process of unravelling our traumas is a generational feat of strength and wisdom... With poetic prose, Nguyen Phan Que Mai crafts a striking tale of human resolve which confronts complex questions.' - Book Riot, Best Books of 2020

'Not since 2017's Pachinko have readers been given a family saga as sumptuous and compelling as The Mountains Sing.' - PopMatters, 'Best Fiction Books of 2020'

'A comprehensive multigenerational tale, beginning in 1920s Vietnam and continuing through modern wartime. However, the larger history takes a back seat to family dynamics, demonstrating how different generations weather the burdens of conflict.' - The Washington Post

'A sweeping tale of one family's shifting fortunes in Vietnam across half a century... Invitingly and gracefully told... A richly imagined story of severed bonds amid conflict.' - Kirkus, starred review

'[A] lyrical, sweeping debut novel... Nguyen brilliantly explores the boundary between what a writer shares with the world and what remains between family. This brilliant, unsparing love letter to Vietnam will move readers.' - Publishers Weekly, starred review

'An engrossing story of family, adversity, war, loss, and triumph... Recalling Min Jin Lee and Lisa See, Nguyen displays a lush and captivating storyteller's gift as she effortlessly transports readers to another world, leaving them wishing for more.' - Library Journal, starred review

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Hardback
Linda Hepworth

“A remarkable, unforgettable story.”

Against the background history of French colonisation, the Great Hunger, the Japanese Occupation, The French Indochina War, Land Reform and the war between North and South Vietnam, this deeply moving, haunting,... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 11

“vietnams's history from the local perspective”

I got The Mountain Sings by Que Mai Phan Nguyen from Netgalley for a fair and honest review.


The Mountain Sings, tells the story of a family from Vietnam, from before World War II to the modern day. It does this by... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 8

“Simply superb”

Before reading this book I knew little about the history of Vietnam. This is a sweeping family saga of strength in the face of adversity. Simply stunning.

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 6

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