Her mom was working as a maid. Her dad’s Alzheimer’s was in high gear. And the rent on her parents’ small Chicago apartment had just gone up. Again. But Lori was holding it all together: helping care for her dad and pay her family’s bills, figuring out how to navigate graduate school and four jobs on top of her family responsibilities, and, somehow, continuing to believe that there was more to life than this.

And there was.  An exciting job teaching at a prestigious school in China.  Although the previous month, she had turned down a job offer in Iowa—thinking it was too far away from her family—she felt completely at ease accepting the job in China. Grasping on to the fierce determination she’d had since childhood, Lori found herself in Guangzhou, China, where she fell in love with the culture and with a man from a tiny town in Hubei province.What followed was a transformative adventure—one that will inspire readers to use the bitter to make life even sweeter.

Barnes & Noble

Advance Praise

“…This is a story for our time. Young adult and adult readers will find respite, hope, encouragement, and joy in this carefully crafted and warmly felt debut.”
―Mary Rakow, award-winning author of The Memory Room

“Lori Qian’s story is stunning! From the courage to leave her family and move to China to being served frog and eel at her soon-to-be in-laws’ house, her story will remind you that life is a grand adventure. Qian’s vivid storytelling invites us to come along for the ride.”
―McArthur Krishna, award-winning and best-selling author of the Girls Who Choose God series

“An incredible story about finding home, finding yourself, and falling in love in a foreign country, Lori Qian’s inspiring memoir is a reminder that life is full of surprises and hope.”
―Jennifer Chen Tran, literary agent