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“Country of Daughters” Review by Shrena

Leaving Mother Lake reveals popular Chinese singer, Yang Erche Namu’s, rural upbringing in the “Country of Daughters”. The memoir shares her childhood as a part of an anthropologically unique ethnic group called Mosou in the foothills of the China-Tibet border. As a matrilineal society, the Mosou people have unique family dynamics. The families tend to trace their lineage through the mother’s side, and children often reside within their mother’s household. She also shares the concept of “walking marriages” where men only visit women at night, and return back to their homes. Even when she recalls stories, Namu’s yearn to leave the village is clear. At 16, she gets an opportunity to sing in a competition in Beijing, and later receives a prestigious scholarship at the Shanghai Conservatory of music. This puts a strain on her relationship with her mother. Despite the hiccups, she expresses the love she has for her home when they reconcile years later. The book explores a coming-of-age story with a unique cultural perspective.

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