According to an old Chinese proverb, “You can draw the image of a person… but you can never know what’s inside a person’s heart.” In this unique memoir, Mei-Ling Hopgood attempts to learn and describe what is in the hearts of the family that gave her up for adoption. In 1974, Hopgood’s parents in China released her for adoption by a couple in Michigan. More than twenty years later, Mei-Ling manages to contact her birth parents and her siblings who very much wish to see her.
The reunions, like much in life, wind up being both joyful and painful. Families are complicated and for every joyful thing that Hopgood learns about her birth family’s past, she also learns about painful secrets and memories that are best left forgotten.
Hopgood discovers that while in most lives “the twists of fate are… imperceptible,” this was not the case for her. She was harshly removed from one life in order to be granted another. Hopgood finds that she gained more than she lost and became a very lucky person, a lucky girl. In the end she moved onward and found happiness.
This review was written by Joseph Arellano. Reprinted courtesy of Sacramento Book Review.