Friday, June 17, 2011

The Foremost Good Fortune

a memoir
by Susan Conley

I was looking for something to read, specifically something to read on my Nook. After browsing through the library's ebook offerings, this caught my eye (along with It's All Relative by Wade Rouse).

Susan Conley's husband, after a longtime interest in China, gets a temporary job in his favorite country and moves his wife and two children to Beijing. Susan is excited about the move but is not as enamored of the country as her husband. Her two boys, Aiden and Thorne, have trouble adjusting at first but like most children, soon learn to quit worrying and embrace their new land.

I'd like to read another memoir from the perspective of someone who really enjoyed being in China. I suppose Susan Conley did enjoy many things about her adopted country, but she struggled for the most part. To be fair, she didn't get much of a chance to experience a normal life there. Partway through their stay she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

The memoir is not only about her struggles in a strange land called China, but her struggles in the land of Cancer as well. While she spent quite a long time going through the healing process, both in mind and body, this isn't fully portrayed in the book. She goes through a depression after her treatment and mastectomy, but she doesn't seem to recognize it as depression. At least, she doesn't give it that name. Perhaps she couldn't tell the difference between depression and just the disorientation she experience upon first arriving in China.

The book was very interesting and worthwhile reading. It gave me a view of China that I had never had before. Actually, I have not read anything about China outside of school assignments. Its not a country I'd like to live or one I'd like to visit, mainly because of the ridiculous Communist government and its strange laws.

But still, I'd like to read another book about someone's experience in China. I'm willing to change my mind. But I still don't think I'd ever live there.

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