Chapter 19 and the ending of this book was sort of disappointing. Chapter 19 described the healing ritual for Lia. The txiv neeb sacrifices a pig to heal Lia. A pig is tied to Lia and spirit money is used to help guide the pig to the afterlife to help heal Lia. The Lee’s also sacrifice another pig for the family, and the txiv neeb sacrifices a chicken for Lia. The chapter ended on a cliffhanger for me. I thought that it was going to be explained that Lia recovered even though its unlikely, or she passed away. The chapter ends in the middle of the sacrifice, and nothing is really solved. This made me angry because it made the book seem unresolved. I immediately read the afterword because I wanted answers. The afterword explained that Lia is still alive but may only have a functioning brain stem. Nao Kao has passed away, and all the doctors at the MCMC have left the hospital. The afterword also was about how the author is glad to have written the book at the time she did, and it is essential that Americans learn about the Hmongs and the issues that they have faced in America. I was thrilled the afterword was included. It really wrapped up the book, and I thought it was terrific that Lia is still alive. Lia has outlived expectations because of the care of her family. I think it’s incredible how much love and care they have for Lia and how it has made her outlive the odds. I think the love the Lee’s have for is one of the most critical parts of the novel. Their love is often brought into question by the doctors and judged because they don’t follow the medication procedure, and did not take the doctors advice. The love and care that Lia received has kept her alive, and I believe it should not be questioned anymore.
I thought this novel was somber and very frustrating, but also very informative. I had never heard of the Hmong people and their role in the Vietnam war. I had not heard about the struggles they faced in the US. I think that the story of the Hmong people needs to be shared more often and the Quiet war needs to be taught. I also think this story is incredibly important because it shows the issues that immigrants and refugees face in our medical system. This book shows that more needs to be done to bridge the gap between immigrants and refugees to make sure they understand the medical care they are receiving. As well as a better understanding of other cultures rituals and own medical practices. This will help bridge the gap and hopefully avoid another situation like Lia faced.