Friday 56 & Book Beginnings: Home is a Roof Over a Pig


Home is a Roof Over a Pig by Aminta Arrington
Book Depository | Amazon - Hardback | Amazon - Kindle

For Book Beginnings:
The Chinese writer Zhang Ailing said that every butterfly is a dead flower flying back to look for her lost life. 
- p. 12

For Friday 56: 
Passersby stopped by to watch the children obviously enjoying themselves. Except for Katherine. She was the only one not doing the motions. Instead, she stared at a man nearby sawing a branch off a tree.
- p. 56.

This is another win on Goodreads! I've been to China and being Asian myself, I am always fascinated with learning about my neighbours. So a vicarious journey like this is always a treat. 

I've been horrible with my reviews, but they are coming! What are you reading? 

Synopsis of Home is a Roof Over a Pig by Aminta Arrington: When all-American Aminta Arrington moves from suburban Georgia to a small town in China, she doesn't go alone. Her army husband and three young children, including an adopted Chinese daughter, uproot themselves too. Aminta hopes to understand the country with its long civilization, ancient philosophy, and complex language. She is also determined that her daughter Grace, born in China, regain some of the culture she lost when the Arringtons brought her to America as a baby.

In the university town of Tai'an, a small city where pigs' hooves are available at the local supermarket, donkeys share the road with cars, and the warm-hearted locals welcome this strange looking foreign family, the Arringtons settle in . . . but not at first. Aminta teaches at the university, not realizing she is countering the propaganda the students had memorized for years. Her creative, independent (and loud) American children chafe in their classrooms, the first rung in society's effort to ensure conformity. The family is bewildered by the seemingly endless cultural differences they face, but they find their way.

With humor and unexpectedly moving moments, Aminta's story is appealingly reminiscent of "Reading Lolita in Tehran." It will rivet anyone who is thinking of adopting a child, or anyone who is already familiar with the experience. An everywoman with courage and acute cultural perspective, Aminta recounts this transformative quest with a freshness that will delight anyone looking for an original, accessible point of view on the new China.

16 comments:

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    1. probably the only caucasian among a sea of chinese kids!

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  2. hi Aloi! the first sentence is beautiful.
    i can understand Katherine somehow. i preferred solitude than company a lot of times when i was growing up but i wasn't sad or envious of what the other kids were doing. i did play on the street with our neighbors occasionally but i still cherished being alone and i still had a happy childhood. :)

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    1. the book has quite a lot of chinese proverbs/sayings in it. it looks like an interesting read ...

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  3. Interesting title and cover...the beginning makes me wonder. Sounds intriguing.

    Here's MY FRIDAY MEMES POST

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    1. it makes me wonder too! i agree - the cover and the title really hook you!

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  4. Great teaser, this sounds really good.
    Here's my Friday 56.

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    1. i've got a mile-long TBR - maybe I'll bump this up. Havent read a good non-fiction in a while! :)

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  5. I'm trying to figure out what that title means. Sounds like a good read.

    Thanks for visiting my blog, Aloi!

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    1. i take the title literally. haven't started this one yet! have a great weekend, chris!

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  6. Hi Alois,

    I don't tend to read memoirs, however I love your opening lines and generally find Chinese proverbs and sayings, very relaxing and thought provoking to read.

    I can understand that the move must have been something of a cultural shock for the children, as much as the upheaval they would have caused in the native Chinese area in which they settled.

    By coincidence, we have just discovered that one of our nephews and his wife, are in the process of adoption proceedings. I can't begin to imagine the emotional turmoil that they will have to go through, when this small person invades their space, let alone if that child were from a completely different culture. I personally think they are very brave and deserve my respect.

    I hope that you enjoy the book,

    Yvonne

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    1. culture shock is definitely a two-way thing. adoption is a huge step in itself - i take it that the child is from a different culture? thanks so much for visiting, yvonne!

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  7. I'd read this for the contrast between American and Ch inese cultures, schools, and upbringing. An eye opener I'm sure it would be. And an interesting story too.

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    1. i've experienced the contrast when we moved from the philippines to canada - very very different, yet at the same time, some things are the same.

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  8. I like the title. If i am not wrong it is the description of the Kanji character for home. Interesting and imaginative beginning! I can understand Katherine staring at the man sawing the tree instead of doing what others are doing. I always did it in school.

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