Tales from a Mountain City gives us an insight into what life was like when the Communists moved in to Vietnam through the eyes of a fifteen year old girl. Normal life was turned upside down, people were forced to give up their homes and things would never be the same again. I could never imagine what it must have been like for those people or what it is like for any family caught up in a war zone, the fear is unimaginable.
Quynh Dao’s memoirs are not written in diary style like the famous Anne Frank. We are told a story based on fact with a large amount of family history thrown in between the horrors and the mundane.
Though the subject matter is very personal to the author and the story deserves to be told I did at times become a little distracted. What her mother grew in the garden was clearly an important memory, but for me it was a little dull to read about and I found it difficult to keep my attention on the book through some of the retellings of the day to day happenings.
I did however learn quite a bit, I had never understood anything about the Vietnam war. I didn’t know what it was about, why it happened or even when it happened. I am English and it isn’t a subject I was ever taught about in school or have ever really looked into since, so am grateful for the knowledge this book has given me.
Copy supplied for review