Customer Reviews (c/o Amazon)
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
STITCH IN TIME, the welcome sequel to TANGLED THREADS and THE WHISPERING CLOTH, follows Hmong immigrant Mai Yang into high school and into more adult problems. The honest and sensitive portrayal of Hmong culture is just as well-written as in the earlier books, and Shea's handling of such teen issues as young love and career aspirations also rings true. Although it can be read alone, it is especially recommended for anyone who has already read Mai's story in the previous books.
By Country Book Lover
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
How fortunate are today's young readers to be able to age along with the protagonists of their favorite books. In Pegi Deitz Shea's "series" of a picture book (The Whispering Cloth), a middle grade novel (Tangled Threads), and a YA novel (Stitch in Time), Mai Yang draws us with her on her journey from a Thai refugee camp to life in the Hmong community in Providence Rhode Island, and now is finishing high school in Stitch in Time. Along the way she walks a tightrope trying to balance her new life without losing precious Hmong traditions, yet yearning to become a genuine American girl.
Added to that is the issue of her growing love for Yia, whom, as a young child, she had met in the camp and meets again in America. He had been widowed when they first met, and now he is again single, with two young sons, and she is more mature….Now she is pulled apart by love and by the need to follow her artistic calling.
The stories themselves in these three books capture the reader quickly, but what makes the trips memorable are the words Shea has woven together so skillfully, just as Mai does in her pa'ndau (story cloths) and later with her more intricate and imaginative art projects.
By An Avid Reader
Stitch in Time continues the life-struggles of Mai Yang who we first met in Tangled Threads: A Hmong Girl’s Story. Besides being a deeply-felt novel, the book is a great addition to social studies on immigration and the Viet Nam War.
Mai, a talented textile artist, is a senior in high school. Her life is full with dance competitions, friends, and working on a senior project for entrance to her dream school, the Rhode Island School of Design. Then, on an icy January night, her world explodes. The car she and her friends are in stops short of a three car pile-up that has started to blaze. Mai rushes to the car rolled over on its back that is minutes from exploding. To her horror she knows the family in the car, Yia Lor, his wife, and their two young sons.
Mai and Yia had met in a Thai refugee camp when she was twelve. She had felt an immediate attraction to the widowed young man with a small child. On reaching America, they had gone their separate ways, and after a time Mai heard that he had remarried. Mai spent the following years adapting to a new culture. Yia had been out of her reach but not out of her heart. Now she and Yia, severely injured in the crash and once again widowed, are thrown together as Mai helps with the care of his sons. She tries to ignore the attraction she still feels for Yia, but is soon aware that he, too, cares for her.
The book is full of the humor and warmth of Mai’s friends and family, and, in lovely language, we are introduced to the ancient Hmong art of pa’ndau (“flower cloth”) that Mai is creating for her senior project.
By Small Town Girl
This is a fascinating story of how immigrants come to our country and learn to acclimate to their new environment. While the narrative is one that has been repeated through generations, this particular legend comes with a new vision of a foreign culture not as familiar to most. I enjoyed Tangled Threads by the same author that told of Mai's character when she first came to United States of America. This follow-up and continuing story of Mai shows a more mature Mai. We feel her struggles as her teen years lead to many life important decisions that must be made. Throughout the story we get lively bits and pieces of the Hmong culture so that not only are we entertained with an exciting story with many twists and turns, but we also become educated as well. The issues are strong in this teen novel and they encompass young love, educational considerations and even sexual tensions. As a reader I struggled right along with Mai while routing for her to do the right thing as I perceived what the right thing might be for her. This book would be perfect for a teen literature course and I highly recommend it. I would someday like to read the adult version of Mai's life as she continues her journey into adulthood and beyond.