"Where the Mountain Meets the Moon," Vocabulary from Chapters 25-36

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
definitions & notes only words
  1. sob
    convulsive gasp made while weeping
    Ma’s face remained hidden in Minli’s bed, but her sobs had stopped and Ba knew she was listening.
  2. despair
    the feeling that nothing will turn out well
    “Neither do I,” Ma said, and she buried her face in Minli’s bed, crying in despair.
  3. pagoda
    an Asian temple
    Even though she was on the floor of the garden pagoda, she had slept comfortably, and as she sat up she realized that was probably due to the silk pillows she had been lying on.
  4. humble
    low or inferior in station or quality
    Inside the bag, Minli found her humble blanket, rabbit rice bowl (with needle and bamboo piece), chopsticks, a generous supply of cakes, and her hollow gourd full of fresh water.
  5. pavilion
    large and often sumptuous tent
    So after a quick breakfast, Minli quietly left the pavilion.
  6. mosaic
    design made of small pieces of colored stone or glass
    Part of her was tempted to explore the mosaic walkways through the jewel-colored leaves, but she knew being discovered by one of the king’s counselors would be disastrous.
  7. implore
    call upon in supplication
    “Please,” he implored the moon, silently, “please watch over Minli."
  8. scowl
    frown with displeasure
    The tiger leapt at her, his scowling mouth glittering with pointed teeth, his blade-like claws rushing toward her.
  9. malevolence
    the quality of threatening evil
    Even in the dim light of the moon, Minli could see its eyes glower with malevolence.
    "Glower" and "scowl" are synonymous verbs that show the movements and moods of the tiger's mouth and eyes. But "glower" fits this example sentence better because it looks almost like "glow" and makes the tiger's threat of malevolence seem more evil.
  10. gash
    a wound made by cutting
    The gashes seemed to have burned into him like evil coals; the blackness had spread and his arm looked like a burnt tree.
  11. flustered
    thrown into a state of agitated confusion
    Her quick-thinking mind darted like a flustered butterfly.
  12. cower
    show submission or fear
    The tiger roared furiously and the girl cowered.
  13. immense
    unusually great in size or amount or extent or scope
    It was a high price but we knew, with 
your immense power and strength, we could not
 disobey.
    Compare to "vast" and "enormous" in the list for Chapters 13-24--while all three are synonymous adjectives, in the example sentences, "vast" and "enormous" are used to describe physical things (waterfall and wall), while "immense" is used here to describe personal qualities (power and strength).
  14. pathetic
    inspiring mixed contempt and pity
    "I will take you, but leave the other for him— pathetic dog that he is."
  15. feeble
    lacking bodily or muscular strength or vitality
    “As he disappeared he said...he said”—the girl swallowed nervously at the Green Tiger’s furious face—“‘Tell the Green Tiger that his son, the king, left you out of pity—pity for his poor, feeble father!’"
  16. jut
    extend out or project in space
    Minli and the boy followed from a distance, past sharp rocks and jutting boulders.
  17. menacing
    threatening or foreshadowing evil or tragic developments
    The deep well was full of shadows, but the dark water caught the reflection of the tiger’s menacing eyes and sharp teeth.
    Compare with "malevolence" in this list--both the noun and the adjective refer to the tiger's eyes.
  18. tangled
    in a confused mass
    The man turned and looked at her wind-burned face, tangled hair, and eyes shadowed with weariness.
  19. unison
    occurring together or simultaneously
    The children laughed; their giggles were like bells playing in unison.
  20. blossom
    reproductive organ of angiosperm plants
    The trees were heavy with bright blossoms and as the wind blew through the branches, golden flowers showered down like rain.
    "Blossom" is used literally here; compare to "sprout" and "bloom" from Chapters 13-24.
  21. crimson
    a deep and vivid red color
    Minli followed his hand and saw crimson gate doors painted with a cheerful greeting.
  22. cozy
    enjoying or affording comforting warmth and shelter
    But she did remember the cozy, lovely feeling of falling into a bed, like holding a warm steamed bun on an icy day.
  23. vile
    causing or able to cause nausea
    Whatever animals he did not kill 
outright, died within an hour or so from the vile poi
son of the tiger's touch.
  24. penance
    voluntary self-punishment in order to atone for something
    "This is the start of his punishment for us—the way we are to pay penance for our ancestors."
  25. longing
    prolonged unfulfilled desire or need
    A wave of longing washed through her and a dryness caught in her throat that the tea could not moisten.