“Leaving Mother Lake” by Yang Erche Namu and Christine Mathieu, is a novel well worth reading and pondering long after the last page is read.
It is a novel that stories the life of a real girl growing up in the far away hidden Himalayas.
Her home is deep in the Himalaya Mountains, far removed from television, all phones, water faucets, electricity, grocery stores and cars.
The land provides, the people work, each to his task. Women care for the home and children. Men provide the long trips to barter and bring home the needed materials.
There are many customs everyone there abides by. Best of all, everyone is happy and content. Everyone sings alone and together.
One day the girl, who is a bit curious about the other side of the mountains, is invited to participate in a singing concert over the hills and far away. She wins and goes on to a music school. She now lives in a city – so different, so exciting, so challenging.
When she goes home to visit, she feels her home is too quiet. Now there are the challenges of leaving home and her mother and living with a musical career in a city.
It’s a haunting, daunting story from a land far away. But the growing up and leaving home becomes, to the reader, bittersweet and personally familiar.
To leave or to stay – that is the question.