February 4, 2013
After having gone through extensive research and time reading editorial reviews to book summaries, I decided that the book: The Latehomecomer: A Family Memoir would be the one I would dive into first. I wanted to select an appealing book so I could relate to the story. I realized that this particular book aided me to understand how the old way of life was back in Laos and Thailand. I now have a better understanding of the sacrifices the Hmong took and all the things they left behind for coming to the Americas. Actually, my parents were of the first generation. In discovering that someone wrote a book about their struggles and challenges during the war as well as the survival up in the high mountains of Xieng Khuong I was ecstatic. Reading chapter to chapter, I was engrossed to learn of the author, Kao Kalia Yang’s journey from Laos to the Americas. Although Kao Kalia came to the Americas in the 1980s, my parents and older siblings lived through the similar pain and suffering she endured. During Kao Kalia’s childhood life, she explained that “the mountains were their home and they new them well.” My parents explained to me that while you may know your way around in the mountains, survival was extremely hard because there was not a whole lot of food. The men hunted out in the jungle for meat. They feared for stumbling across a tiger and dreaded to be a tiger’s meal for the evening. In the book, Kao Kalia’s grandmother could relate to this as she ran to get away from the tiger that left her with a scar. The hardest part surviving the mountains was for nursing mothers who had to keep their bodies filled with good nutrients to produce enough breast milk for their crying babies. Often times, the breast milk was not enough, or infected due to mothers being sick as described in the book. The only alternative mothers could do was substitute breast milk with a sip of sweetened condensed milk. This...
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