Chapters 15 & 16

Chapter 15 gives us insight into Lia and her families life years after she is released from the hospital. When Lia left the hospital, the doctors were convinced that she had little time left to live, however, in this chapter we see her life years later where she is still alive, contrary to the doctors belief. While Lia is technically alive at this point, she is in critical condition where she requires constant care from her family. This chapter caught my attention because it showed how dedicated and invested Lia’s parents are in her health. On one hand, I know that we have been talking about how Lia has been cared for throughout the entire novel, but this chapter made me appreciate how fiercely dedicated they are to their daughter in their own way, even if it is not in the form of following all the rules the doctors suggest. I found the Lee’s dedication admirable because regardless of what anyone says, they stick to their gut and do what they believe is best for their daughters health.

Next, Chapter 16’s main objective is to help readers understand why the Hmong ended up in Merced. I have always wondered why certain groups end up where they do, so this chapter was very interesting to me. In other words, I have always found that people prefer to travel in groups, but my question has always been, how do they decide where they want to go? In this case, why Merced for the Hmong people? When the book explained that the reason that people chose to settle in Merced was for the specific purpose of buying goods near Merced, it made more sense to me. Groups do not settle in places for no reason. I believe that the Hmong people settled in this space because they knew it would provide them with the opportunity to succeed.

I appreciated these chapters because they continued to develop Lia’s story and her battle with seizures and also provides more background of the Hmong culture and their journey. Understanding the Lee’s culture is crucial to understanding their motives in the novel. I am interested to see what will happen next for Lia and how her family will address her future medical journey.

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