Laiz, Jana. 2008. Weeping Under This Same Moon.
"Weeping Under This Same Moon is based on the true story of two teenage girls from different cultures, whose paths intertwine, dramatically altering the course of their lives."
Mei, one of our two narrators, is Vietnamese. She's the oldest child in her family and one of the first (along with a younger brother and sister) to seek refuge outside of Vietnam. Other siblings--and eventually the parents--will come later. But Mei must go first, must pave the way, must sponsor her remaining family. The portions narrated by Mei are compelling. They proved to be the most interesting to me. Hannah, the second narrator, is an American. She is an outsider--often angry and frustrated that she doesn't belong, doesn't fit in. She doesn't feel particularly understood or appreciated. She's different with a capital D. She doesn't want to be a follower. She isn't looking to conform. She just wishes life wasn't so hard. She's a thinker. She's prone to act as well. When she becomes interested in something--a project, a cause--she gives it her all. One of her projects comes from watching the news--hearing about the plight of the Vietnamese "Boat People." She can't just sit back and do nothing. She must do something, she must make a difference. So she finds out how to go about volunteering. In doing so she does change the lives of a group of Vietnamese refugees living in New York City. Among those she helps is Mei and her siblings.
I did like this one. I found it slightly uneven perhaps...I loved Mei as a narrator but was more hesitant with Hannah. Which is odd I know since I would probably have more in common with Hannah. But it was Mei's story that I found compelling. It was her story I cared about.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
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