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Good Chinese Wife: A Love Affair with China Gone Wrong Paperback – July 29, 2014
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"An American freelance journalist's painful account of how a hasty marriage to a Chinese man turned her life upside down...it is the author's courage to face her mistakes that makes the book worthwhile." - Kirkus
"Susan Blumberg-Kason's Good Chinese Wife is a stark and honest interrogation of her young marriage to a Chinese man. Blumberg-Kason explores...how we choose our life partners, and to what extent human beings are willing and able to communicate with and love each other over the vast differences that can define and divide us. This is a thoughtful memoir about how to take valuable lessons from even our most painful adventures." - Rachel DeWoskin, author of Foreign Babes in Beijing
"A fascinating, poignant and brutally honest memoir that you won't be able to put down. Good Chinese Wife is riveting." - Wendy Tokunaga, author of Midori by Moonlight and His Wife and Daughters
"Susan Blumberg-Kason is a masterful storyteller, turning the harrowing details of her own experience into a compulsively readable account of a marriage gone wrong. Readers who pick up GOOD CHINESE WIFE out of curiosity about cross-cultural relationships will find plenty to ponder on that subject, but Blumberg-Kason's story is, more importantly, a universal tale of love, disillusionment, and the courage it takes to move on." - Dana Sachs, author of The Secret of the Nightingale Palace
"Falling in love with a foreign culture can be a tempting love affair: one that gives you a chance to escape yourself and the constraints of your own upbringing. But when it goes wrong, it goes really wrong, as Susan Blumberg-Kason's gripping memoir amply illustrates. GOOD CHINESE WIFE is a refreshing, painfully honest look at what happens when the mask of romance, both cultural and personal, is dropped, revealing the stranger beneath." - Lisa Brackmann, author of the New York Times bestselling Ellie McEnroe series
"Told in a very frank and honest way, this book is a road map for all things that can go wrong when two people who are wayyyyy too different in every way get married." - Bookshipper
"I found this book to be heartbreaking at times. Susan evolves into a much stronger person and the ending is a happy one. This was a great memoir and a real page turner for me." - Patty's Paperbacks
"Good Chinese Wife is a moving and impressing memoir about a woman who is under the thumb of her abusive husband...I also liked the different backdrops of the book that the author described very vividly, especially Hong Kong. Overall, I was very impressed by Susan's story and I truly recommend this book to everyone interested in Asia. " - Marjolein Reads
"This book is a good reminder to be aware at all times of who you are and what you expect out of life and to make sure that the person you choose to marry is on the same wavelength that you are. Hopefully, this story will help the next women before she ends up in a place she doesn't really want to be in." - Mary's Cup of Tea
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Top Customer Reviews
The book begins with Blumberg-Kason, attending graduate school in Hong Kong. She meets Cai, and, smitten, joins him for a date at a dance. Only weeks later, Cai informs her that he’d like to date her, but that, in China, people only date if they intend to get married. Naive and inexperienced, she accepts this as fact and agrees to date and thus marry him. The two are engaged, and Cai’s parents encourage them to get married as soon as possible. They have a court ceremony in Hong Kong and a banquet in Cai’s hometown of Hidden River. Unfortunately, Cai turns out to be a less than ideal husband, raising his voice or ignoring her when they disagree, spending long nights out with friends while expecting her to remain home, and watching pornographic movies without regard for her presence or comfort. They move to San Francisco and have a child, which Blumberg-Kason hopes will somehow stabilize their shaky marriage.Read more ›
Although the book starts out very interesting, it did tend to drag for me a bit in the middle. We, the readers, can pretty quickly gain an excellent grasp on the type of person Cai was and how it was affecting their relationship. I did feel very much for Susan having to live with the way she was treated, but unfortunately, it seemed like the same story over and over for awhile.
That being said, I was glad about the outcome and that she was a strong woman after all. I was glad I finished the book and learned a lot about the Chinese culture that I definitely did not know. I felt she relayed the story well and if she were to write another book, I'd most likely give it a whirl.
I was fascinated with how Susan shared her son's bris (this is circumcision in Jewish tradition, usually the eight day of life) and how her ex-husband reacted. That's how my parents reacted when we told them we're looking for a Mohel (the one who performs the rite) in the Philippines. My husband is also Jewish but we skipped the bris since my son was born premature.
The book had a lot of interesting characters that once I started flipping the pages, I couldn't put it off. My favorite in the book was Japanese father. Who gives $30,000 dollars at that time? Cai was quite bizarre too. This book made me appreciate my husband even more. He treats me as an equal and loves his family more than anything else in the world.
One thing admirable about Susan is her resilience. I don't want to spill most of the details but this would make a great movie.
I also enjoyed the familiar in her book: the lowly place of the daughter-in-law, the desire for sons over daughters, the tendency of people to stick with others with similar backgrounds (as demonstrated by the daycare), the ancient beliefs in not showering a month after birth, and the Mandarin sprinkled in that added color. So many cultural struggles depicted in such a way that I felt Susan’s desperation through the pages and rooted for her.
The writing was also enjoyable. The descriptions of the food—bitter melon, congee, dim sum—were well-done, and I felt like I could taste, see, and smell each dish. The description of music, which came up because the husband was studying Taoist music, and instruments were also vivid, a task I have found difficult in my own writing.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author marries young and struggles with an incompatible spouse. I just didn't feel compelled to keep reading. Both were self centered.Published 6 days ago by Pink Rabbit
Great book to read. I also stayed up half the night reading this book. Very insightful book. I'm very happy I got a chance to buy and read this book. Read morePublished 1 month ago by V. Akelian
I hated this book and Susan and especially Cai. Susan should have run for her life when he invited her to the dance and then ignored her. Very immature. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kathleen W. Albro
really enjoyed this book- very easy read and interestingPublished 3 months ago by Stephanie A. Merritt
In need of serious slash and burn editing. Lacks much substance regarding Chinese culture as title suggests, in fact more than half of the book takes place in the US. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Debi Simon
Honest and stunning account of Susan's marriage and early adult life. It opened my eyes to a culture I really know nothing about. A great read!Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
It took a little while to engage me but I was hooked well before the end. Give it a tryPublished 6 months ago by K. Moreland