Book Tour: Good Chinese Wife by Susan Blumberg-Kason

DISCLAIMER

BOOK INFORMATION

Displaying 9781402293344-PR.jpg   Details:      Formats- Kindle Edition      ASIN: B00J8QDJIM                                                                                                                                           File Size: 14036 KB      Print Length: 352 ÷                                                                                                                       Paperback     ISBN-10: 1402293348/ISBN-13: 978-1402293344                                                                     352 pages                                                                                                                                                            Language – English                                                                                                                                                                                    Publisher – Sourcebooks (21 July 2014)

  Book Synopsis:   When Susan, a shy Midwesterner in love with Chinese culture, started grad school in                  Hong Kong, she quickly fell for Li, the man of her dreams. As they exchanged vows, Susan was sure                her life was perfect…until things took a sinister turn. In her  eye-opening memoir, Susan   recounts                her struggle to be the perfect Chinese wife to her increasingly controlling and abusive husband. At f                first, she dismisses her own values to save the marriage. But when Li threatens to take their son, Jake,          back to China f or good, Susan must find the courage to stand up for herself, her son, and her future.

DISCLAIMER:  I received this book from NetGalley for review a while ago but then was asked by Sam Lien from JKSCommunications to take part in a book tour for it as well.

REVIEW

This was a beautifully written book which told the story of a young girls life from being a post graduate student studying in Hong Kong to being a mother who leaves her marriage because her Chinese husband isn’t being supportive, which is why I would give it 5 stars & recommend it to other people.

It was a fascinating book because it enabled you to learn about Chinese culture and beliefs and how they can sometimes not mesh very well with western beliefs and customs. Although even taking that into account Cai did do so really nasty things even to their baby son, including threatening to send him back to China for his mother to raise him.

I also loved how Susan finally made the decision to Leave Cai finally when she got some legal advice about what would happen if Jacob was taken back to China against her wishes and found out that she likely wouldn’t be able to get him back. It was fantastic to see the light to ignite in her and made her make the decision to not to just leave Cai but to leave him that weekend, along with her son and with her mothers help to do it.

It was also very interesting to see how Cai reacted to the letter and the fact that Susan had left him because rather than getting really angry and detached as he usually would have done he actually was really upset, & heartbroken. But then following her leaving and their Divorce he rarely saw their son, no more than twice a year. However that was still more regular than how often he saw his daughter from his first Marriage.

I loved the fact that a chance meeting between two young people at University led to a marriage and the birth of a much wanted child, then to a separation and divorce.

Book Tour: Good Chinese Wife Author’s Guest Post

Culture vs. Personality in a Cross-Cultural Relationship

When I married my former husband, Cai, I assumed we would have cultural differences. We came from such different backgrounds. He was from a small town in central China; I grew up in a suburb just north of Chicago. We didn’t ignore these differences at first, but discussed them and looked forward to a life together that differences at first, but discussed them and looked forward to a life together that would never grow dull.

That didn’t happen, as I write in Good Chinese Wife: A Love Affair With China GoneWrong. It wasn’t just China that threw me for a loop, it was Cai and his ever-erratic Wrong. It wasn’t just China that threw me for a loop, it was Cai and his ever-erratic behaviour. The difference between marrying Cai and someone from Chicago or anywhere else in the US was that whenever we hit a problem, it was all too easy to pass it off as a cultural difference. We were still learning about each other’s cultures, even though I thought I was an Old China Hand before I met Cai. Little did I know, however, that years of Mandarin, Chinese politics, and Chinese history classes were of little help when it came to living in a Chinese family.

I remember the first time Cai laughed at me when someone went awry. We were walking down our mountainous campus in Hong Kong when I tripped and fell. It wasn’t a serious fall, but I skinned my knee and twisted my ankle. Instead of helping me up, Cai stood there. And he laughed. I was flabbergasted by this behaviour and sulked for a few minutes before he accusingly asked me what was wrong. What was wrong? I just fell, I replied. And you laughed. Cai turned toward me and explained that he only laughed because he was worried about me and wanted to lighten the mood. He said it was the Chinese way. And it was. I learned then that that’s quite a common reaction to when someone gets hurt.

Looking back, that was an easy culture clash to deal with. If only they had all been so straightforward!

When Cai started staying out late with his professors on a research trip to the scenic city of Suzhou, I also racked that up to culture differences. The Confucian teacher-student one, to be exact. He left me alone in our hotel room so he could stay out until the early hours of the morning playing cards and chatting. I couldn’t go along because Cai claimed the professors would be in their underwear and it would obviously make them uncomfortable if I tagged along. I was sure this was just another cultural difference I had to understand. And certainly there would be

As our differences became more obvious, I found it very difficult to differentiate between culture and personality. Was the silent treatment Cai gave me on a two-and-a-half hour train ride a cultural difference or a personality problem? I’m thinking it was the latter, but at the time, I was trying to figure out this cultural difference. Was I really the spoiled American Cai called me at the Shanghai Railway Station, or was he the knuckle headed husband who didn’t want his wife to get her way for once? These questions wreaked havoc on my marriage to Cai when we lived in Hong Kong and traveled often to mainland China. I thought things would calm down when we moved to San Francisco, but they only grew worse.

If there is one lesson I learned from that marriage, it would be that I never should have dismissed all of our conflicts as cultural differences I just needed to better understand. When something doesn’t sit right, no matter if it’s with someone from another culture or one’s own, it’s always best to speak up right away. Cross-cultural relationships can work just as well as intra-cultural ones, but there needs to be a mutual level of respect between the two people for that to happen.