RaveThe Washington Post... masterful ... These thoughts bring the reader to question what Mei might be misremembering throughout the novel, and what she might not remember at all — a metaphor for the selection of events that official history deems fit to either embrace or discard...But that’s the thing about hidden history, political, national and personal: Once a long-buried truth is revealed, it sparks connections, understanding and empowerment ... Mei’s description of the Cultural Revolution does not sound so removed from our daily American reality. Hua concludes her Author’s Note by warning that \'[t]he past is never as distant as it seems.\' That’s just another reason that her novel is eye-opening, vital and timely now more than ever.
RaveNew York Times Book ReviewPowerful ... Vasquez-Lavado’s memoir is many things. It is an adventure saga of her ascent of Everest; a vulnerable meditation on her childhood in Peru; and the tale of an immigrant’s journey to the United States. Above all, the book is Vasquez-Lavado’s reclamation of the truth behind the stories and secrets she had to learn to bear early ...The writing is cinematic ... Two timelines alternate and reinforce each other, like dual strands of a knotted rope. Vivid adventure scenes abound ... At the beginning of the climb, Vasquez-Lavado keeps company with Nepali women who were trafficked as children, voices I wish were more present throughout the book ... Herein lies the wisdom of this work, aptly subtitled \'A Memoir of Courage\': In a world that demands us to harden, to tell stories of strength and triumph, the bravest act can be embracing our inner child, our fears, our truths.