Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Review: The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir

The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir by Kao Kalia Yang
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After reading The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures, I was curious to learn more about the Hmong people and "The Secret War." This memoir chronicles the Yang family's escape from Laos into a refugee camp in Thailand (where the author was born) to resettlement in Minnesota. The contrast in cultures and values was stark as the parents as the family tried to make the United States home, even if it's not where the ancestors are buried.

The pace of this memoir is at times a bit too slow for me, which was magnified as I listened to the audio. She sometimes gives too much information about consecutive days while also covering her entire life and the life of her family before she was born. There is also a level of what some have called sentimentality, especially when it comes to her grandmother, that I tried to understand from her perspective but at times felt like a bit much. Still, it is an inside view of the refugee experience that is well worth the read.

This is the 10th memoir I've read during Nonfiction November.

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