Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chasing China: A Daughter's Quest for Truth

Oh wow... what a good book.  It could have used a little more detail here and there, but over all, it was such an awesome story.

I just finished reading Chasing China: A Daughter's Quest for Truth by Kay Bratt.  I had heard about different horror stories of abducted babied being adopted out to foreign families in order to get donations that were used on just about anything but the orphanages.  I remember as a kid in jr high or high school, reading a series of stories in some news magazine about China and some of the sob stories from some of the lucky ones that were able to get out of the country.  I'm sure that there are sob stories from just about anywhere in the world, including our own country, but this story is about Mia...

Mia was adopted by her American parents at the age of 4 from an orphanage in Suzhou.  Wanting to learn a little more about her roots and possibly find an reason why her parents abandoned her, Mia went back to China with hopes and dreams of her other family.  Of course, while she was there, she ended up meeting another American.  This was the part of the story that I felt was a little too far fetched, but I guess she made it work.  Not only was Jax Asian-American on an internship in China, he just happened to live in the same state as Mia and lived a mere 2 hours away.  Yeah, what were the chances of that happening (as I roll my eyes).  :-)  :-)

Okay, okay... I don't want to bash this book because it was good.  It looks like this was only her second book and I'm impressed with some of the details.  I can tell that this writer is really passionate about wanting to help the orphans and children of China from Mia's story and what she witnessed during her visit.  I'm not going to repeat any of it here because I don't think I can without breaking out in tears again. 

I was impressed with the detail that she used to describe one of the babies that Mia became attached to - a 9 month old precious little girl with a heart condition named Xinxin.  I wish the writer would have used the passion that she used in describing this little girl for her main characters, but from what i understood after reading the acknowledgements at the end of the book, Xinxin was based on a real person.  It then made sense to me as to why the little girl seemed more real than the other characters.  Since I'm not a writer, I really don't know how to make a fictional character more 'real', but little Xinxin was real and she really popped out of the story even though she was only a minor character.  I wish I knew how to fix it or make suggestions for future characters, but the main characters were just a little too empty.  I was able to see Xinxin in my mind more than any of the other characters - I could almost be able to feel her light weight little body in my arms and hear her breathing and feel her moving her little body while she took everything in.  I think because these descriptions were written from real memories, they just make that part of the book way more interesting.

I'd be really curious to see how the writer is doing with this in her other books.  But after thinking about it, even if her writing style stays exactly the same as in Chasing China, I hope that she is able to continue being an advocate for children in China and where ever else she sets her mind to.  :-)  :-)

Happy reading,


No comments: