"Where the Mountain Meets the Moon," Vocabulary from Chapters 1-12

November 8, 2013
Grace Lin mixes fantasy with Chinese Folklore in her novel "Where the Mountain Meets the Moon," a story about a young girl on a magical journey to change her family's fortune.

Learn these word lists for the novel: Chapters 1-12, Chapters 13-24, Chapters 25-36, Chapters 37-48
Far away from here, following the Jade River, there was once a black mountain that cut into the sky like a jagged piece of rough metal.
To coax rice out of the stubborn land, the fields had to be flooded with water.
Ma sighed a great deal, an impatient noise usually accompanied with a frown at their rough clothes, rundown house, or meager food.
Ba seemed to drop his gray and work weariness—his black eyes sparkled like raindrops in the sun when he began a story.
Compare with "esteem" in the list for Chapters 13-24. The two nouns (which can also be used as verbs) can be synonymous but "reverence" is closer to a respect that's almost holy, as if to a god of great power.
She was very proud of her power and of the reverence the people of earth paid her.
They were horrified at the anguish and misery on earth.
It was planting season, which was especially grueling.
“I’ll buy that one,” Minli said, and she pointed at the fiery orange fish with the black eyes and fin that had caught her eye.
"Fierce" and "fiery" can be synonymous adjectives, but in these two example sentences, they are not, because one focuses on the physical appearance of a fish, while this focuses on the temper of a law official.
The magistrate was fierce in his anger as well
 as his pride.
Compare with "infuriate" (the synonymous noun "fury" can be seen in this verb)--both words and example sentences show how the magistrate's anger connects to his power.
All feared his wrath, and when he roared his orders the people trembled.
His every decision was crafted for that purpose; every manipulation was part of a strategy to achieve acceptance into the imperial family.
The old man's indifference infuriated Magistrate Tiger and he ordered the carriage to stop.
"You can answer any question in the world?" the magistrate scoffed.
On the wedding day, Magistrate Tiger bragged to his son about how he had arranged the marriage and outwitted the Old Man of the Moon.
In a flood many years ago, the grocer's family perished—except for the daughter.
“I do,” Minli said, enthralled and eager.
"A conceited, self-important man, who, when only the imperial family is allowed to use the image of a dragon, commissions one."
Now that his son has married the king's daughter, Magistrate Tiger will do anything to flaunt his power and overstretch his authority.
"May I present this, which I humbly painted in tribute to the great magistrate's rule."
"Magistrate," a third voice said, one that seemed a little kinder, "it is only a minor flaw."
I saw the magistrate's fat face leering over me as he reached over and dotted in my other eye.
The goldfish man’s eyes also flashed as he looked at Ma and Ba and their dust-covered clothes and haggard, tired faces.
My parents and aunts and cousins burst into exclamations and wails.
Before the aromas of the delicacies were captured in our most ornate box, they floated in the air, causing all the neighborhood animals to whine at our door.
"Yes," I said, and I came closer as he beckoned.

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