BookBrowse Reviews Across Many Mountains by Yangzom Brauen

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Across Many Mountains

A Tibetan Family's Epic Journey from Oppression to Freedom

by Yangzom Brauen

Across Many Mountains by Yangzom Brauen X
Across Many Mountains by Yangzom Brauen
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2011, 304 pages
    Oct 2012, 320 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers

Buy This Book

About this Book



A powerful memoir about three generations of Tibetan women and the unbreakable bond of love

With 18 out of 19 reviewers rating it 4 or 5 stars, Across Many Mountains is a clear favorite among BookBrowse readers. Here's what they have to say:

Across Many Mountains is exciting, informative, and a very compelling read (Barbara H). Once I opened the book, I couldn't put it down. I compare it to Elie Wiesel's Night; although Ms. Brauen does not present any horrifying details, she illustrates the persecution of a people based on their religion, in this case Buddhism. You learn a lot about this ancient religion and the way people in an isolated country can live on nothing (Donna N). Across Many Mountains is a must-read and relates the history of a people who remain true to their identity even in exile (Cynthia S); it is a worthy addition to the grand and tragic narrative of Tibet (Michael F).

For some readers, discovering the history and culture of Tibet was fascinating:
I was mesmerized by the trek to freedom across the Himalayan mountains in winter and the deeply spiritual nature of the grandmother and her husband, a Tibetan monk (Susan S). I expected to read much about the Chinese invasion of Tibet, but what I found was a personal journal of three generations of refugees, including very interesting details of Tibetan culture and religion (Sarah W). It was refreshing to read about people who still hold tradition and a sense of "homeland" so dear to their hearts (Kate S), and I found Yangzom Brauen's descriptions of her grandmother's Buddhist practices and the Tibetan way of life enlightening and often humorous (Sandra S).

And many enjoyed the narrative of these strong women:
I found all three women in the book - the grandmother, Kunsan; the mother, Sonam; and Yangzom, the daughter and author - to be amazing, courageous women in their own distinct ways (Sandy B). Brauen's grandmother, a Buddhist nun, is a figure of archetypal stature who anchors the family during the tumultuous 20th Century and beyond, from the homeland bravely onward into exile (Michael F).

But some, though taken with Brauen's memoir, desired more:
Sometimes the descriptions and the details ran too long, which made it a slow read for me, but I learned a lot about Tibet and Buddhism (Darlyne F). The author recounts somewhat flatly, the story of her grandparents' early experiences as they were forced to leave the land they loved, but her writing style gains a dynamic quality as she moves through her mother's young life in India (Soosi D).

Who should read this book?
Anyone who likes to learn about culture and history from stories about real people will love this memoir. When I reached the end, I felt tremendous empathy for the current plight of the Tibetan people (Sandy B). If you enjoy books about strong, successful women, you will adore this as much as I did. I finished it in a marathon reading session (Susan S). This memoir should be read by everyone interested in human rights (Donna N); it is a great story and I believe book clubs will love it (Anita S). I encourage all to read this memoir - it's a wonderful read (Cody Marie).

This review was originally published in October 2011, and has been updated for the October 2012 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Speak No Evil
    Speak No Evil
    by Uzodinma Iweala
    Young Nigerian American writer Uzodinma Iweala is fast becoming known as a powerful chronicler of ...
  • Book Jacket: Winter
    by Ali Smith
    "God was dead; to begin with." This first sentence of Winter perfectly sets up the dreamy journey ...
  • Book Jacket: A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    by Atia Abawi

    When you're a refugee, everyone has lost, at least for the time being... And the journey ...

  • Book Jacket: Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano

    A charming, bighearted novel starring Auntie Poldi, Sicily's newest amateur sleuth.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Sometimes I Lie
    by Alice Feeney

    This brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something a lie if you believe it's the truth?
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Balcony

The Balcony
by Jane Delury

A century-spanning novel-in-stories of a French village brimming with compassion, natural beauty, and unmistakable humanity.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One N U G

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.