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Across Many Mountains: A Tibetan Family's Epic Journey from Oppression to Freedom

Across Many Mountains: A Tibetan Family's Epic Journey from Oppression to Freedom

Escrito por Yangzom Brauen

Narrado por Yangzom Brauen


Across Many Mountains: A Tibetan Family's Epic Journey from Oppression to Freedom

Escrito por Yangzom Brauen

Narrado por Yangzom Brauen

valoraciones:
4/5 (37 valoraciones)
Longitud:
9 horas
Editorial:
Publicado:
Sep 27, 2011
ISBN:
9781427215154
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descripción

A powerful, emotional memoir and an extraordinary portrait of three generations of Tibetan women whose lives are forever changed when Chairman Mao's Red Army crushes Tibetan independence, sending a young mother and her six-year-old daughter on a treacherous journey across the snowy Himalayas toward freedom.

Kunsang thought she would never leave Tibet. One of the country's youngest Buddhist nuns, she grew up in a remote mountain village where, as a teenager, she entered the local nunnery. Though simple, Kunsang's life gave her all she needed: a oneness with nature and a sense of the spiritual in all things. She married a monk, had two children, and lived in peace and prayer. But not for long. There was a saying in Tibet: "When the iron bird flies and horses run on wheels, the Tibetan people will be scattered like ants across the face of the earth."

The Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1950 changed everything. When soldiers arrived at her mountain monastery, destroying everything in their path, Kunsang and her family fled across the Himalayas only to spend years in Indian refugee camps. She lost both her husband and her youngest child on that journey, but the future held an extraordinary turn of events that would forever change her life—the arrival in the refugee camps of a cultured young Swiss man long fascinated with Tibet. Martin Brauen will fall instantly in love with Kunsang's young daughter, Sonam, eventually winning her heart and hand, and taking mother and daughter with him to Switzerland, where Yangzom will be born.

Many stories lie hidden until the right person arrives to tell them. In rescuing the story of her now 90-year-old inspirational grandmother and her mother, Yangzom Brauen has given us a book full of love, courage, and triumph,as well as allowing us a rare and vivid glimpse of life in rural Tibet before the arrival of the Chinese. Most importantly, though, Across Many Mountains is a testament to three strong, determined women who are linked by an unbreakable family bond.

A Macmillan Audio production.

Editorial:
Publicado:
Sep 27, 2011
ISBN:
9781427215154
Formato:
Audiolibro

También disponible como...

También disponible como libroLibro


Sobre el autor

Born in 1980 to a Swiss father and Tibetan mother,Yangzom Brauen is an actress, model, and political activist. She lives in both Los Angeles and Berlin and has appeared in a number of German and American films. She is also very active in the Free Tibet movement, making regular radio broadcasts about Tibet and organizing public demonstrations against the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

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  • (4/5)
    It is a powerful and very personal story of family, survival, diaspora, bravery, nationalism, and faith.You will feel like you are with this family on their journey from their home country of Tibet, away from the Chinese oppression, to surviving in India, until they settle in Switzerland where a new generation continues the fight to free Tibet. Along the lines of Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, model/actress Yangzom Brauen shares her family story with much emotion and colorful characters.I love how the story is about three generations of Tibetan women and how different their lives turned out. Kunsang lived in the mountains of Tibet and religiously followed the Buddhist teachings she learned as a nun. Sonam was raised mostly in India where she had her first contact with modern civilization and Westerners. Yangzom was born and brought up in comfortable Switzerland, a world away from where the story began. But their love for Tibet never wavered.Read the rest of the review on Reading Good Books.
  • (4/5)
    Thoughts: Ms. Brauen writes of her grandmother, Kunsang's escape from Chinese occupied Tibet in 1959 with her husband and two young daughters. The trek over the Himalayas to reach India was difficult and filled wth heartache. Life in India was not easy either, they were poor, sometimes homeless and not particularly welcome. None the less, through fortitude, hard work and the kindness of strangers they survive. A young student from Switerland changes their lives in a most fortuitous way still despite their new lives they desire to return to Tibet and keep their culture alive and relevant.
  • (5/5)
    This was a fascinating tale of three generations of Tibetan women. The grandmother, a Buddhist nun escaped Tibet as the Chinese took control of the country. She has instilled a love of a culture and country to her daughter and granddaughter. A country they have not seen as she knew it. Throughout the memoir you feel the love of the women for each other and for their past. Buddhism is the glue that binds them together. It also is the glue that binds the books three stories together as they all tell their tales from Tibet to Switzerland to New York.I was enthralled from beginning to end and it made me want to know more about a culture I know so little about.
  • (2/5)
    ACROSS MANY MOUNTAINS: A TIBETAN FAMILY'S EPIC JOURNEY FROM OPPRESSION TO FREEDOM by Yangzom Brauen is made up of descriptions of one Tibetan family’s progression through different cultures, beginning in Tibet before the Chinese invasion and ending in Switzerland until they do a complete circle and return to Tibet many years later after the Chinese allow them back in. Each culture the family moves to is more technologically advanced than the last. This book is about their ability to cope in each new culture and how they view Tibet on their return. At least, that’s what I thought Brauen intended.Actually, only two members of the family, the mother and daughter, make it all the way. The daughter’s daughter, Brauen, did not make the journey as the title and cover picture imply. She was born and raised in Switzerland but likes to call both Switzerland and Tibet her countries. Although she did go to Tibet with her mother, grandmother, and Swiss father many years later, their return wasn’t permanent.But the book doesn’t end there. Maybe it ought to. Instead, it continues. Notice, I say the book continues, not the story. That is because my impression was that the continuation was another story, that of Brauen’s protests against oppression of Tibet and her hope that Tibet not be forgotten.I have a problem with books that have no dialog, with unemotional, impersonal descriptions of people and things. That’s how this book is, especially in its first half. It contains so many details it drags. Details should enhance a story. But here they mostly don’t because the author tries to cover too much.This is the risk I find in most nonfiction. Although I prefer nonfiction over fiction, most nonfiction fails for me because most authors don’t know how to write it other than to state the facts.Although the second half of this book is better than the first, it, too, is made up of many impersonal descriptions. I was never made angry, sad, touched, or happy for anyone.This book has received many favorable reviews on amazon.com and goodreads.com. Maybe you should believe them and not me. Maybe you will be able to manage to keep your mind from wandering. But I think that will be a trick.I won a finished, hard cover copy of this book through luxuryreading.com. So I actually feel guilty for disagreeing with their two reviews of ACROSS MANY MOUNTAINS. But there it is.
  • (5/5)
    Die Geschichte dreier Frauen aus Tibet. Die Grossmutter flüchtete mit ihrer Tochter - die später einen Schweizer Ethnologen heiratete - nach Indien. Die Enkelin - geboren in der Schweiz - schrieb das Buch, sie ist Schauspielerin
  • (4/5)
    Yangzom Brauen erzählt hier ihre Familiengeschichte. Ihre Großmutter ist eine tibetische Nonne, ihre Mutter zunächst in Tibet aufgewachsen und als Sechsjährige mit den Eltern über den Himalaya nach Indien geflüchtet. Sie lernte einen Schweizer kennen und heiratete ihn. Yangzom selbst ist ein westliches Mädchen, eine Schauspielerin und Model. Das Buch ist besonders wegen der ausführlichen Darstellung der drei Personen interessant, die jeweils eine andere Kultur verkörpern. Hierbei ist natürlich besonders die tibetisch buddhistische Kultur ungewöhnlich und spannend.
  • (5/5)
    I didn't expect this book to be as compelling as it was. It is the story of Brauen's mother's and grandmother's journey and it is also a story of Tibet's unfinished journey. It is always fascinating to me to read how much people will endure for freedom -- and sad that they must endure anything. It's inspiring to see them prevail. Kunsang and Sonam did indeed endure and prevail. Brauen has taken to heart their stories and is doing what she can to help Tibet to prevail. Her story is part of that journey. It was also interesting to me to see the juxtaposition of Switzerland's and China's political systems, and both of those to the much simpler system of Tibet.
  • (4/5)
    I loved the first three quarters of this book. Only when the story moved to modern Switzerland did it lose my interest. But the harrowing stories of the family's life in Tibet and their escape to India was amazing. Despite what other reviewers have mentioned, I thought the story would not have been complete without the details about the ongoing turmoil in Tibet. It added immensely to my understanding about what the family went through. I recommend the book.
  • (4/5)
    An amazing story of family, a country, and a religion. Although written as a memoir following three generations of women in a family this book can also be read as an introduction to tibetan buddhism or even as a history of Tibet and the Chinese occupation. Unlike many stories on the subject this book really delves into the personal realities which the people of Tibet have been forced to face. I have a real interest in the subject so I have read many books on Tibet (both religious and historical) yet few have been as clear and easily understood as this: it gives a face and personality to the issues of these himalayan people. Great book, well worth reading.
  • (4/5)
    The book spans 3 generations: the author, her mother (Sonam) and grandmother (Kunsang). The Chinese have invaded Tibet and the story follows Kunsang and Sonam as they make their way from Tibit to India to excape the maurading Chinese. The storyline follows their lives from refuge camps to Switzerland, where the author is born.I loved this book. The writing is clear and concise - offering the reader colorful vignettes that convey the meaning of the written words.
  • (3/5)
    Much like Jung Chang’s Wild Swans, Across Many Mountains is a multi-generational biography of the author’s ancestors, beginning with her grandmother, Kumsang and continuing to the present day. Yangsom Brauen, unlike Chang, is not a historian, so this is a more personal account with less historical context than its obvious Chinese counterpart. Due to the inaccessibility of Tibet, the lack of records, and the amount of time that has passed, most of the early events are known only through Kumsang’s memories.I found the earlier parts of the book that took place prior to the family’s escape from Tibet (which took place when the author’s mother Sonam was a young girl) to be the most interesting, as a window into a little-known and now-vanished time and place. Kumsang is one of the few survivors of the last generation to grow up in what Brauen consistently refers to as “Old Tibet”, not yet invaded by China and still practicing its old form of Buddhism. Brauen does not fall into the easy trap of idealizing her grandmother’s life as a nun or depicting Old Tibet as an idyllic utopia; life was hard and the aristocratic order was unquestionably accepted; if someone was rich they must have earned good karma in a previous life, so their high status was the proper order of things and their orders were to be obeyed. After China’s invasion of Tibet and the family’s harrowing escape, the narrative loses some focus, meandering through descriptions of refugee camps in India and their eventual move to Switzerland where the author was born. I strongly recommend the first portion of the book, depicting life in Tibet and the escape to India; after that, you can put the book down whenever it loses your attention without fear of missing something, because it does not markedly improve again once it falters.
  • (3/5)
    I'm so happy to have had the chance to hear the stories of these three women. Prior to reading Across Many Mountains, I had zero knowledge of the Tibetan culture or understanding of their situation. I'm grateful that the author has taken the time to document these tales as I fear that her mother and her grandmother in particular are the last of their kind.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed this book - a family memoir that traces three generations of women from their home in Tibet, escape to India, and eventual settlement in Switzerland. It was a little more political and less contemplative than other family memoirs that I have read, but it was still an interesting story.
  • (4/5)
    What I liked about Across Many Mountains was that it offered an inside look at what life was like for Tibetans during the time of the Chinese invasion, as well as for those refugees who managed to escape.The story follows the stories of three generations of women, starting with the author’s grandmother, who was a Buddhist nun. The story continues by detailing her mother’s difficult teen years as a Tibetan in India, and then later covers the author’s own challenges as someone who is half Tibetan and half Swiss.The author shares what life was like prior to Chinese occupation; showing the daily lives of her grandparents as religious leaders. In fact, I learned a lot about Buddhism that I didn’t know from the first hundred pages of the story. There is much detail about the rituals and spirituality of her grandparents since it was the central focus of their lives. Their peaceful existence changed drastically when the Chinese forces arrived, and they felt it was necessary to flee for the safety of the family.I had thought that the story was going to be mainly about the family’s escape across the mountains – like many of the survival stories I have read in the past, and found that it was less of a wilderness survival story and more of a generational tale of cultural heritage. It was still a very interesting read, just different from what I had anticipated.It describes the trials her grandmother and mother faced as they fled to India, and their hardships as refugees in a strange land. I was surprised to learn that some of the refugee work camps were close to being slave labor camps – since the employers weren’t always honest about paying them. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that people will take advantage of others, but part of me is always surprised at how awful people can be to each other.All was not grim in this story though. The author’s mother did find romance and the family’s story is ultimately one of success and achievement.The most vivid sections to me were those that were about the author herself; written in first person. Seeing Tibet through her eyes gave me a much clearer picture of what life is like there than earlier parts of the story did. I think a lot of that is due to the earlier parts being stories that are from a long time ago; retold by the author for her mother and grandmother.Reading Across Many Mountains is a good way to get a feel for what Tibetan culture was like before and after the Chinese took over. I recommend this book to those who are interested in learning more about Tibet and its people.
  • (4/5)
    A testimony to the resilience of the human spirit. Three generations of women, each facing huge challenges, persevere. The immense cultural distance traveled from Tibet to India and the West is astounding. Highly recommended to memoir lovers, Tibet watchers and women who like generational stories.
  • (5/5)
    Across Many Mountains is a memoir recounting the lives of three generations of women and their struggle for a free Tibet. The way that author Brauen narrated the story made me feel as if I was right there with her, experiencing her life and meeting these powerful women who have shaped her life and who she is as a person. The story revolves around a family’s journey from oppression to freedom, and this theme resonates throughout the book from page to page.The memoir is a very enjoyable story, a harrowing tale of women who risked everything to give their family and homeland a chance at freedom. While they have not succeeded yet, I feel as if they’ve done much to make a difference. It’s inspiring to read these pages. If you want to make a difference in your world and in the lives of the people you affect, you should definitely give this book a read. This is exactly what these women have done and will continue to do.The writing is eloquent and flows nicely, detailing the lives of her mother and grandmother, as well as her own. It’s just amazing to see what lives these women have led and everything they have gone through in their pursuits. On top of this, we are exposed to details of Tibetan life, which interests me as a former student of Asian studies. Everything is fascinating and richly detailed from start to finish.Across Many Mountains is a rewarding story with a strong message at its heart. Brauen’s story is one that you cannot miss.
  • (3/5)
    Yangzom Brauen's Across Many Mountains is a family history spanning three generations of Tibetan women. Brauen's story tells of her grandmother and mother's escape from the brutality of Chinese invaders of their homeland, their journey to India, and then Europe and America. The history is compelling, but the writing is not. I understand that background about Tibetan Buddhism is important for this story, but I wish that Brauen had been able to get it across through the descriptions and actions of her grandmother. Instead, there were textbook-like lectures throughout the first quarter of the memoir that made the book a chore to read. The latter half of the book, however, was a smoother read and had some interesting points. Of particular interest to me were the differences between Brauen's grandmother and mother. Both were extremely strong women, but her grandmother felt the constraints of her cultural background throughout her life in Tibet and abroad, wheras her mother lost her tolerance for the superior attitudes of the Tibetian aristocrats. All three were united by their Buddhist beliefs and their love of Tibet. The cover, a family portrait of the three women, is lovely.
  • (4/5)
    This is a beautiful memoir that reads like a novel. While everyone has heard of Tibet, few of us, myself included, had an understanding of the history of its occupation or the impact of the Chinese occupation on the history and culture of this unique country. The story of Tibet is told through the story of three generations of a Tibetan family. The author's grandmother is a Tibetan nun; her mother was born in Tibet but fled to India with her parents as a small child, and the author was born in Switzerland. Therefore each of them carries the Tibetan culture in different ways, and relates to their homeland from a different perspective.It was riveting to have a window into the lives of this family, to experience their reactions to the major upheaval in their country, and to see the impact of the occupation as it rippled through generations. The story was easy to get immersed in, as the characters were compelling.The author poingnantly captures the sense of loss of a people whose country has been taken. She describes how Tibetans today are scattered across the globe; her own family is one small representation of this. She articulately describes the history of the Chinese occupation, the Tibetan activist movement, and her fears that someday the voice of her people will be lost to history. This is a moving, sometimes heartbreaking story that nonetheless manages to inspire hope.
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this book. It was happy and sad all in one, to read about three generation of women who fled Tibet during the Chinese invasion in the early 50s and the story of their lives through the 2008 Tibetan uprising. The author's grandmother was a young Tibetan nun who fled Tibet with her husband [a monk] and their two daughters to seek a better life in India. The story unfolds with the tragic deaths of her grandfather and her mother's baby sister. At 17, the author's mother Sonam meets a young activist/student from Switzerland. They fall in love and eventually marry. He takes Sonam and her mother back to Switzerland too live with his family. Although exposed to yet another country and culture, they survived. The author Yangzom Brauen was born in Switzerland and shares what it was like growing up celebrating Tibetan heritage and listening to her mother and grandmother's tales about early life in Tibet and exile. Brauen became an activist to join the Tibetan freedom movement and also does modeling and acting. This story opens dialogue about how in history and even in the presence, cultures are stripped from people because they share different beliefs and/or religions no matter where you are from. What was so compelling about this story is that her grandmother who speaks primarily Tibetan, still practices as a Tibetan nun. She never gave up on her beliefs or her country. The family sends money to other surviving family members still living in Tibet today. Very inspiring story about faith and perseverance.
  • (5/5)
    This was a fascinating tale of three generations of Tibetan women. The grandmother, a Buddhist nun escaped Tibet as the Chinese took control of the country. She has instilled a love of a culture and country to her daughter and granddaughter. A country they have not seen as she knew it. Throughout the memoir you feel the love of the women for each other and for their past. Buddhism is the glue that binds them together. It also is the glue that binds the books three stories together as they all tell their tales from Tibet to Switzerland to New York.I was enthralled from beginning to end and it made me want to know more about a culture I know so little about.
  • (5/5)
    What a great read! I've never had a good understanding of "The Tibet Issue" and found this book really helpful. It gave me that background I needed about Tibet and China, in a very enjoyable format. Reading the personal stories of those experiencing it is, for me, a good way to learn more history. Of course I have to keep in mind that I am hearing only the perspective of these particular individuals. Three generations of Tibetan women tell their story and within this one family of course there are very different experiences. Thus we get both the beginning of the story as well as updates and current issues, from the Chinese invasion through the family fleeing to India, to intermarriage with other cultures and ethnic groups. We learn about what it is like to be a refugee, as well as what it is like to be the mother of a refugee.I especially appreciated that the author addressed the problem of what to do TODAY, when many Chinese people have lived their whole lives in Tibet, as Tibet has been occupied 60 years. This is now their home also and they are not moving anymore than I, an American whose family came here in the 17th century, am moving back to Ireland/England/Scotland/France. The author does briefly talk about other ways that Tibetans can regain some autonomy, which I found hopeful.I also found interesting some descriptions of how this family experienced Buddhism, which is very different from the Buddhism that I have seen practiced in the U.S. I find cultural effects on religion intriguing, and often annoying, so was glad to increase my understanding.This book is rich in the details of daily life and experiences of refugees, as well as the adjustment to a new culture. Recommended to anyone interested in other cultures, the life experiences of women, or world history.You WILL need to look elsewhere for a Chinese perspective, which I believe I will find in my next read [Waiting for the Dalai Lama].
  • (4/5)
    I thought this story of three generatiobs of Tibetan women was fascinating. I was completely engrossed by the details of the grandmother's life as a Buddhist nun and her daughter's life. It is difficult for me to fathom how they managed to go from the incredibly simple life in the Tibetan mountains to India, then Swtzerland, and then New York. Their daring escape from Tibet seems surreal to me. I also found it very interesting to imagine the author's life ( she is the nun's granddaughter). How does one adapt across so many cultures and still try to hold onto one's unique heritage? Once again I find the power of the human spirit to be staggering!
  • (5/5)
    At it's heart, Tibet was a country of Buddhists, farmers, and majestic beauty. As described in this memoir, what survived the Chinese Cultural Invasion was the beauty, minus the old-world architectural and religious additions of the native Tibetans. The Chinese Cultural Invasion changed Tibet forever. Overall, the destruction, invasion, and occupation of Tibet by the Chinese has resulted in numerous refugees, uncounted suffering and death, and the loss a culture, society, and way of life. On the side of the Tibetans, the Chinese have forever negatively impacted their lives, memories, traditions, and futures. On the side of the Chinese, they have helped "free" the Tibetans from an oppressive, demoralizing way of life. The change has opened the doors of new opportunities, and at the same time has eternally denied other doors. Following the lives of the three strong, courageous women as they strive to not only to survive but live demonstrates all that was lost by the Chinese invasion and all that has been created by the same.Emotional, descriptive, historical, moving, and inspiring are just a few ways to describe this story. Not only is this an exceptional story, but it is a great resource for understanding the foundation and future of the Free Tibet movement.
  • (5/5)
    There are parallel themes in this memoir. Each of the three generations of Tibetan women struggle to escape, survive, and carry on the culture that defines them throughout the world. In the meantime, Tibet itself is crushed under the brutal Chinese Cultural Revolution, to become hardly recognizable as it once was. The story is told by the granddaughter, but the gentle strength of her grandmother, her “Mola,” and the very close relationship she has with her daughter, Sonam, is the beauty in the narrative. Interwoven throughout the journey are various aspects of Buddhism—the chanting, the meditation, and sometimes allowing for compromises that must be made. I was lucky enough to be selected as an early reviewer for this book, and highly recommend it when it's released by St. Martin’s Press in October of 2011.
  • (5/5)
    Across Many Mountains is the inspiring saga of three generations of strong Tibetan women who triumph over suppression. This book spans 80 years in the lives of this family and gives the fascinating, and truly heart wrenching, account of the Chinese occupation of Tibet. A very well written page turner that I found hard to put down and even harder to stop thinking about well after finishing.
  • (4/5)
    The story of this family's struggle was heartbreating and inspiring. The last time I was moved to action and action was when I read Three Cups of Tea. That says alot for me. At one point I even wished my book had pictures, but then it hit me- simple and understated was the best way to go. The supply of websites and addresses in the back was a brilliant move. Thank you.
  • (4/5)
    This book may only tell the story of 3 generations of women, but you get the feeling of traversing many centuries. The story begins high in the Tibetan Himalayas in a small village lacking any modern conveniences. Modern, for 1910, that is. But it could have been 1810 or 1710. Life was hard but simple, and the author's grandmother was content. Her contentment and detachment from worldly life is felt in the narrative. Then in 1959 the Chinese took over and imposed Communism on the country. They sought to destroy Buddhism and the Tibetan social hierarchy. The author describes the brutality and humiliation inflicted on her grandparents were a poor monk and nun, not rich gurus. In the end the family makes a daring escape over the highest passes of the Himalayas to join the Dali Lama in India. To me, this was the most interesting part of the book.Life in India seems harder than life in Tibet. Even though it is the 1960s, the family is crushing rocks manually to make gravel. The story centers more on the author's mother who is now a teenager. The narrative takes on her questioning and unsure nature.The family eventually travels to Switzerland where 21st century Western life and technology is thrust upon them. Even a plastic glass of orange juice is unknown to them. The narrative shifts to the story of the author growing up with her Swiss dad and Tibetan mother and grandmother. Her modern Western childhood seems more than a generation removed from her mother's. I didn't like this part of the book as much. It didn't seem like there was much of a story to tell and that the author was looking for filler between major events.This is a wonderful book for anyone interested in Old Tibet, Free Tibet, and the plight of the refugees. It gives the reader a look at centuries of culture and the intimate lives of Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns.
  • (5/5)
    I LOVED this book! Granted, I'm a memoir fan, but this book really resonated with me. Well-written by the third of three generations of Tibetan women, the story primarily focuses on the first two generations (grandmother and mother) and their story of living in Tibet, and exile from Tibet. This book holds its own in the canon of great epic journey stories and speaks to the reslilence of the grandmother to actually survive her own life story. The author takes time to explain specifics of Tibetan Buddhism in lay language (very helpful, by the way), as the grandmother's faith is a core of the story. The granddaughter's (author's) story is short, and kind of tacked on at the end...the book could stand alone on the grandmother and mother's stories alone. GREAT read - highly recommend! I hope this does well in the US when it's released...and hopefully one of the movie studios will snatch this one up - it's perfect for the screen.
  • (3/5)
    Thank you for my free book!I really enjoyed following along on this inspiring journey. This isn't just a personal journey - it's history and religion. An enlightening tale of history. To travel along with this family was a gift.My only criticism is that it switched a little too much between first person and third person. Making the switch between their names and the Tibetan familiar was confusing at times.
  • (4/5)
    Opening with a horrific mid-winter Himalayan crossing from Tibet to India to escape Chinese oppression, this book had me hooked. I am always amazed at two things: the cruelty one person, or group of people is capable of afflicting on another, and the strength and resilience the Creator has given to humans. Yangzom's Grandmother, "Mola", grew up in Tibet, which although far from idyllic, was a nation free to pursue it's own beliefs and life. As a young woman she chose the life of a Buddhist nun and was able to pursue that, even though she and a Buddhist monk eventually married and had two children. When their children were young, they endured persecution to the point that they decided to escape the country, now ruled by the Chinese. Amazingly they survived the crossing and found their way to a refugee camp for Tibetans in India. Life was difficult and eventually both the husband and younger daughter died of disease. Still the Mola and her daughter, Sonam, pressed on and were able to survive and get Sonam an education, while Mola worked menial subsistence jobs all the while continuing her time consuming Buddhist prayers. Due to the love and perseverance of a young Swiss man, they eventually moved to Switzerland, where the author was raised. The story continues throughout their lives ending with the grandmother in her 90s.I love reading true stories about people and have to disagree with those who thought it was poorly written or switching back and forth from first to third person. At times she speaks of her mother and father as "my amala" or "pala" and at times she uses their first names. Confusion over this speaks more about the reader than the author.I enjoyed reading the book, though I was saddened by the oppression and destructiveness of the Chinese. Although I'm a Christian, and feel that their beliefs are false, I think people should have the right to worship as they think right, even as I should have the right to share with them what I believe to be the truth.I would recommend this book to people who enjoy biographies and autobiographies, stories about Tibet, India or China, and are interested in learning more about Buddhism. I plan to loan my copy to my mother, and mother-in-law.