Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May 6 Library Visit Review

My review of the books I checked out on May 6:

The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8. Lee - I was interested in this book since I have 2 daughters from China and I've been there twice. I couldn't get into it though, and didn't finish. I do NOT like Chinese food. :-) One time for supper, during our second trip to China, I had a donut and some french fries. :-) One time this was my meal while most of the rest of our group had the Peking Duck Dinner. The plate was about 8 inches in diameter if I remember right. In other words, this was not a big plate of food. LOL

The Challenging Child by Stanley Greenspan - I just skimmed this book. I have a hard time getting into this type of non-fiction book sometimes. This one is pretty long. It probably has a lot of good info I could use though.

A Child Call "It" by Dave Pelzer - Difficult book to read, left me with many questions. The author says questions will be answered in the next 2 books. I'm not sure if the questions I have are the ones he answers. I'll be checking out the sequels soon and find out.

The Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer - I really enjoyed this book. (I know, not much of a detailed review, LOL!)

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman - I really wanted to like this book since it got so many good reviews. I'm not a fan of fantasy though, and I couldn't get into it. It started out okay and I thought maybe I could read this one. And maybe at another time I could, but right now I just didn't feel like continuing with it.

Forever Lily by Beth Nonte Russell - This book made me very MAD. The author goes along with a friend to China to adopt a child. The friend doesn't want the child from the very beginning and her attitude made me so mad, as if this wasn't a child's life, as if you "shop" for the perfect baby and if you don't get exactly what you wanted then you can just put her back. I admire the author greatly for loving this baby and eventually adopting her when they got back to the U.S., but I didn't agree with much of her assessment of China and some of her own attitudes. Also she was into mysticism and other things I totally do not agree with. A big part of the book is dreams that she was Chinese in a past life (if I understand that right - I skipped most of the dream parts).

A few other quotes that bothered me:

"The Chinese government insisted on thousands of dollars for a baby that someone had literally thrown away. What, or whom, was the money for, exactly?"

The author is referring to the $3000 orphanage "donation" every adopting parent is required to make. This money goes to the orphanages. I look at it as payment for all the things they did for my daughters up until we adopted them, and for the children who currently reside there. Sure maybe there are corrupt officials here and there who misuse the money, but for the most part, the money goes to help support the orphanage and the children there.

"I look at the label; it reads MADE IN CHINA. Isn't everything? They are exporting everything, including their unwanted girl babies."

I think that is a crass way to look at it and I don't agree with that attitude.

But at least she understood this much:

"Besides, I think, anyone adopting from China knows that sometimes you do not get the individual baby that has been promised to you; you don't choose. It is part of the deal to accept that there will be unknowns."

I could go on and on about the things I didn't like about this book, but it might be more appropriate on my adoption blog rather than this one. But if you want a good overview of what adoption from China is like, there are much better books than this one. One of these days I will post a list of my favorites.

Rating: 3/5

China Ghosts by Jeff Gammage - MUCH better than Forever Lily! I enjoyed this book. 4/5

1 comment:

Much Ado said...

Well, after reading this I am now looking forward to reading China Ghosts and you have also confirmed my decision not to get Forever Lily!

Love reading your reviews. Loved the picture of the girls in lilac on your other blog - so cute!