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Lucky Girl: A Memoir Hardcover – April 28, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books; 1 edition (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565126009
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565126008
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,489,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Mei-Ling Hopgood "writes with humor and grace about her efforts to understand how biology, chance, choice and love intersect to delineate a life. A wise, moving meditation on the meaning of family, identity and fate." –Kirkus

(Detroit Metro Times)

”A journalist by trade, Hopgood pushes herself to ask tough questions. As she does, shocking family secrets begin to spill forth. . . Brutally honest. . . Although Hopgood’s memoir is uniquely her own, multiple perspectives on adoption saturate the book.” –Bust magazine

(Good Housekeeping)

“An award-winning writer recounts her experience as one of the first Chinese babies adopted in the West and her surprising trail back to the rural Taiwanese family who gave her away. . . A great book.”—Good Housekeeping

(Louisville Courier-Journal)

“With concise, truth-seeking deftness of a seasoned journalist, Mei-Ling delves into the political, cultural and financial reasoning behind her Chinese birth parents' decision to put her up for adoption. . . Cut with historical detail and touching accounts of Mei-Ling's "real" family, the Hopgoods, Lucky Girl is a refreshingly upbeat take on dealing with the pressures and expectations of family, while remaining true to oneself. Simple, to the point and uncluttered of the everyday minutiae, Mei-Ling Hopgood nails the concept of becoming one's own.”—Detroit Metro Times



"An award-winning writer recounts her experience as one of the first Chinese babies adopted in the West and her surprising trail back to the rural Taiwanese family who gave her away . . . A great book." —Good Housekeeping


"Enchanting . . . Hopgood's story entices not because it's joyful but because she is honest, analytical and articulate concerning her ambivalence about and eventual acceptance of both her families and herself." —Louisville Courier-Journal

Review

"An uplifting and beautiful journey that brings out all your emotions." —Michelle Yu, coauthor of China Dolls
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Great job, Mei Ling!
Kay Bratt
Being a girl comes with much responsibility and I am proud to say this book will make you feel all the emotions that we all have as girls, young ladies and women.
Stacy
This is a wonderful, heart warming story.
Cac

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By K.Wagner VINE VOICE on January 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Reading books about ordinary people who have something extraordinary in their lives is one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon. Mei-Ling is an ordinary, happy American girl who grew up in a small family with loving parents. She is intelligent, successful, and well loved by friends and family.

The twist though is that the family is much larger than one might first think. She is one of the many girls adopted from Taiwan, and brought to America by a couple who wanted a baby. In fact, this couple also adopted two boys, also from Asia to complete their little circle.

Mei-Ling is different from many of the girls who were adopted in that she had a link to connect her with her birth family, if she chose to do so. She learned of Sister Maureen early on, when she was told the story of how she came to be adopted . When in her twenties, the nun who was almost a storybook like figure to her once again got in touch with the family to let them know that her birth family was interested in meeting, if she would like to do that.

What followed was the story of two families coming together, and bonding. Sometimes it was painful, other times loving, and there were times it was hilarious. There were brothers and sisters and a gentle birth mother. Her birth father was something of a conundrum.

This is a wonderful book, about good people, families and love. I recommend it.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A. Salas on April 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I was fortunate enough to come across Lucky Girl by chance and what a happy discovery it was! Hopgood's writing style flows beautifully and avoids the trap of sap even though the subject is worthy of it. Her ability to reel us into her personal story is done effortlessly but with great impact. I found myself totally engaged in her life. Following her through her post college years as a successful journalist, joining her on her wedding day bliss, really feeling the love and warmth that she shared with her adoptive parents, crying when her father passed away unexpectedly, and then joining her on her journey to meet her birth parents. All this storytelling is done with humor, investigative wit, sincerity and self examination. It really is an epic tale that weaves together so many lives, emotions and discoveries. Well done!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Joe Grimm on April 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I devoured this book. It is the kind you can read in one sitting but shouldn't because you don't want to be done with it so soon.

Mei-Ling Hopgood does an excellent job reconstructing and telling the stories of both of her families. There is tremendous character development as she answers some mysteries, uncovers new ones and eventually finds the answers to those, too.

This book is in a class with The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food and China Dolls: A Novel.

Hopgood's book rides from a breathless rush into discovery to heartbreak to the sweetness of sisterhood.

This is a good choice for anyone whose life is intertwined with adoption or multicultural familes -- or anyone who wants to learn about these subjects.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Terry Mathews on October 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Although she was adopted from China as an infant, award-winning journalist Mei-Ling Hopgood had a typical American upbringing. Growin up, she thought her Chinese parents were were peasants who gave her up so she would have a chance at a good life.

Hopgoods's life is turned upside down when her adoptive mother receives a phone call from the Catholic nun who arranged the adoption. It seems her Chinese family wants to make contact and have her visit them.

Expecting to find rural peasants in a pastoral setting, Hopgood is shocked to find that her family is urban, middle-class, rowdy, unconventional, loud and just a little bit bossy.

Hopgood puts her journalism training to good use as she unfolds the story of her family and tries to assimilate into the world of the Chinese without losing her American identity.

I hope Hopgood writes a follow-up to this book. There is so much more to know.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By BermudaOnion VINE VOICE on August 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Mei-Ling was born in Taiwan and at seven months old, she was adopted by a loving American couple, Rollie and Chris Hopgood. The Hopgoods also adopted two boys from Korea. The three children grew up as all-American kids and Mei-Ling was never really curious about her birth family or her life in Taiwan before her adoption.

One day, after Mei-Ling had finished college and was working as a journalist, her adopted mother called her and told her that Sister Maureen, the nun who had facilitated her adoption wanted to see her. Mei-Ling decided to meet with Sister Maureen and when it was suggested that Mei-Ling could probably find her birth parents, Mei-Ling declined. Several months later, Mei-Ling asked Sister Maureen to write to the hospital where she was born. This started communication and eventually visits between Mei-Ling and her birth family.

Mei-Ling Hopgood's memoir, Lucky Girl does give her background, but mostly focuses on her contact and relationship with her birth family after she was an adult. And, what a family it is! I don't want to give too much away, but her birth father is a domineering man with archaic ideas and her mother is a submissive woman. A lot of this is a result of their age and culture, but it was all quite a shock for Mei-Ling. Mei-Ling was thrilled to discover that she has seven sisters (only Mei-Ling and one other sister were given up for adoption, though). Mei-Ling struggles to understand her mother and the choices she made, but her meetings with her birth family only reinforces what she already knew - that she is a lucky girl.

I really enjoyed Lucky Girl - it's a beautiful tale of self-discovery without a hint of self-pity.
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