Where Rivers Part

Where Rivers Part

A few months back, I finished an early copy of Where Rivers Part by Kao Kalia Yang which tells the story of Kao’s mother Tswb Muas. Tswb had a childhood marked by fear and violence due to the civil war in Laos. Once The US left Laos & Vietnam, Laos erupted in Civil War & genocidal attacks against the Hmong people. Tswb & her family flee their village and survive in the jungle. Always on the run Tswb meets her future husband Npis & leaves her mother. It’s a choice that has haunted Tswb for many years. They spend years at a refugee camp in Thailand and then make a new life in America.


Writing, History, & The Important Lessons To Learn

The writing is descriptive & it flows very well. I like that while the book is mainly about Kao’s mother, it does cover some history about the genocide against the Hmong people in Laos which is something not many know about. Many know about the Vietnam War and more people know about the genocide in Cambodia, but many people don’t know about the genocide in Laos. The book is an important reminder not to let history be forgotten and for me reading true stories like this is why I’m grateful to live in The United States. Those of us who were born & live in The United States don’t know what it’s like being the target of genocide or having to flee war & tyrants. I also love Kao’s parents Tswb & Npis. Even though war had done huge damage to them in so many ways they didn’t let it stop them from being good parents to Kao and her siblings and trying to give them a better life than they experienced.



Overall if you enjoy non-fiction memoirs & biographies and history I recommend Where Rivers Part by Kao Kalia Yang. Where Rivers Part  is out today on March 19th. Thank you so much Tswb for allowing Kao to write your story for us to read. Thank you, Kao, for writing it and for the early copy, I can’t wait to read more from you in the future.