You are sure to laugh when a Nevada housewife, struggling through her own midlife crisis, shares her experiences while teaching in China. Through a plentitude of cultural nuances and interesting characters, Salyer details her touching and provocative journey leading to a greater appreciation for everything American. Whether you desire to teach abroad, make a life change or merely satisfy your own curiosity, this story is filled with the truths of one woman's journey and teaching experience abroad.
What did you like about this audiobook?
The topic, Americans teaching in China, intrigued me, but the writer's insight remained superficial.
How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?
To learn more about this topic, I'll turn to other books, blogs, and resources on this topic (because this book is light on depth and breadth).
Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?
The conversational writing style facilitated the listening experience, but sometimes tipped into a gossipy tone with light substance. It frustrated me to get more insight into the writer's narrow American cultural vision and into her mid-life crisis than into the Chinese culture. For my taste, it felt a bit too self-centered and shallow, as if this trip to China was mostly a feel-good manicure to heal the author's mood. Regrettably, we don't feel much of her investment into her missions (helping Chinese students improve their English, being an ambassador of her culture), and she shares little about her classroom experiences.
What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?
The reader articulates well, but she has a mild case of a California Valley Girl accent that reinforces the superficial overtone of the text (further highlighting the book's weakness). The production is sub-par because the silent pauses at the end of chapters are cut down too short, and it creates run-on sentences that combine the last sentence of a chapter and the title of the next chapter (confusing!). These too-short pauses occur in other places in the text. Otherwise, the audio quality is good.
Do you have any additional comments?
For the same topic, and a much better book (with more insight, cultural comparisons, teaching experiences, stronger prose, etc.), pick Peter Hessler's River Town. If you're still hungry for more, and can be satisfied with a light fare next, try this book.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Excellent story of the author's experience of teaching in China during the last decade.
Hilarious at times and unbelievable at times! The author takes you on a journey that almost seems as if you're right there with her throughout.
I've lived in China off and on for the last several years, and I couldn't agree more with the way the author conveys her personal experience of being there and living there.
This book is "right on" and I highly recommend it to anyone thinking about going to China or who wants a great realistic look at the wonderful Chinese people and a fascinating culture to boot!
The author has a great saying that says "life is too short "not" to take chances"