Through the eyes of a child, the experiences of being an undocumented immigrant will leap off the page and into your heart in this unforgettable memoir.
In 1994, Qian Julie Wang arrives in America with her mother (Ma Ma) to join her father (Ba Ba) who has come before them. He could no longer stay in a country where he did not have freedom of expression. Both of Qian’s parents were professors in China yet their education and background became meaningless and their comfortable life disappears once they have to start anew in Mei Guo, America – the “Beautiful Country.” Harsh living conditions, hunger, sweatshops, racism and the daily fear of being found and deported become their new reality. Through it all, Qian teaches herself English and escapes into books. Their struggle seems hopeless. Yet the family’s incredible determination and resiliency moves them closer to fulfilling their dream of a better life.
Beautiful Country – A Memoir is a remarkable debut for the author, a Yale educated lawyer who had the courage to tell her story, which at times is hard to believe took place such a short time ago as the working conditions and squalor often read like a Dickens novel. Yet this is a very timely story that is especially relevant today as people continue to seek freedom.
Many thanks to Doubleday Books, NetGalley and the author for the opportunity to read Beautiful Country in advance of its release. This is a book that will stay with me for a long time.
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Memoir / Nonfiction.
Publication Date: September 7, 2021.
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