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Review: Lucky Girl

August 6, 2009

Lucky Girl

Mei-Ling was born in Taiwan and at seven months old, she was adopted by a loving American couple, Rollie and Chris Hopgood.  The Hopgoods also adopted two boys from Korea.  The three children grew up as all-American kids and Mei-Ling was never really curious about her birth family or her life in Taiwan before her adoption.

One day, after Mei-Ling had finished college and was working as a journalist, her adopted mother called her and told her that Sister Maureen, the nun who had facilitated her adoption wanted to see her.  Mei-Ling decided to meet with Sister Maureen and when it was suggested that Mei-Ling could probably find her birth parents, Mei-Ling declined.  Several months later, Mei-Ling asked Sister Maureen to write to the hospital where she was born.  This started communication and eventually visits between Mei-Ling and her birth family.

Mei-Ling Hopgood‘s memoir, Lucky Girl does give her background, but mostly focuses on her contact and relationship with her birth family after she was an adult.  And, what a family it is!  I don’t want to give too much away, but her birth father is a domineering man with archaic ideas and her mother is a submissive woman.  A lot of this is a result of their age and culture, but it was all quite a shock for Mei-Ling.  Mei-Ling was thrilled to discover that she has seven sisters (only Mei-Ling and one other sister were given up for adoption, though).  Mei-Ling struggles to understand her mother and the choices she made, but her meetings with her birth family only reinforces what she already knew – that she is a lucky girl.

I really enjoyed Lucky Girl – it’s a beautiful tale of self-discovery without a hint of self-pity.  Mei-Ling readily admits that there were times when she felt different when she was growing up because there weren’t many Asians where she lived, but she’s also quick to point out that the Hopgoods were wonderful parents who encouraged and loved her and helped her become the strong woman she is today.  When she says, “Giving our children even a fraction of the love and generosity that my mom and dad shared is the best legacy that I can think of leaving,” she is of course speaking of her adopted parents.  After reading her book, I think she will leave a fine legacy.

There’s a great trailer for this wonderful book:

Review copy provided by Algonquin Books.

30 Comments leave one →
  1. August 6, 2009 7:19 am

    I love memoirs, this one sounds so good. Thanks for the review Kathy.

  2. August 6, 2009 7:56 am

    Sounds fantastic. I love this kind of story. Great review and thanks for sharing the video.

  3. August 6, 2009 8:26 am

    I think this is definitely one I would enjoy reading. Great review.

  4. August 6, 2009 8:32 am

    This sounds like a good book. Great review!

  5. August 6, 2009 9:07 am

    I have a hunch this is also an emotional book. Probably a good read for all those on both sides of adoption. Good story. Good review. Good trailer.

  6. August 6, 2009 9:08 am

    This sounds like such a touching book. Your review gave me chills!

  7. August 6, 2009 10:03 am

    This memoir sounds interesting…thanks for calling it to my attention. I often wonder if my cousin’s children will want to someday contact their birth families in China.

  8. August 6, 2009 10:07 am

    Great review, and what an interesting story.

  9. August 6, 2009 10:19 am

    Terrific review!!!! Really makes me want to move this one up on my TBR pile! Thanks (I think)

  10. August 6, 2009 10:41 am

    This looks good… reminds me of A Single Square Picture by Katy Robinson which was really good too.

  11. stacybuckeye permalink
    August 6, 2009 10:55 am

    This sounds wonderful! I think it is interesting to read how adoption affects children, so I’ll ahve to look for this one.

  12. August 6, 2009 11:03 am

    Thanks for the review, this does sound like a great book. I have a copy sitting on my shelf and you have made me want to get to it much sooner than I was going to!

    Happy reading

  13. August 6, 2009 1:37 pm

    Love memoirs–will have to pick this one up.

  14. August 6, 2009 2:51 pm

    I swore I am giving up memoirs, but I am rather sorry now that I did not try to get this one…darn.

  15. August 6, 2009 3:05 pm

    This just went on the wish list – thanks for the great review! I know someone who has an adopted Chinese daughter – I may have to tell her about this book.

  16. August 6, 2009 4:46 pm

    This one sounds terrific. Another one to add to my list!

  17. Luanne permalink
    August 6, 2009 8:02 pm

    I love a good memoir – and this sounds great!

  18. August 6, 2009 8:58 pm

    This sounds like an inspiring memoir related to adoption. I think it’s fascinating to read about other cultures through memoirs and I always learn something.

  19. August 6, 2009 9:13 pm

    This sounds like a wonderful book. I love memoirs by strong women who beat the odds and didn’t give up because they add to struggle.

    Thank you for coming by my blog yesterday after I participated in Wondrous Words. I appreciated being able to join in! I’m slowly getting the hang of things in the blogospeher!


  20. August 6, 2009 11:12 pm

    This sounds really good. I havent even heard of this. Great review!

  21. August 7, 2009 2:23 am

    I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy this book but your review made it sound better than the dust jacket did. I do enjoy a good memoir so I will have reconsider Lucky Girl. 😀

  22. August 7, 2009 4:01 am

    I don’t read many memoirs but this one sounds really good!

  23. August 7, 2009 9:19 am

    This one sounds great especially when you wrote that there wasn’t a hint of self-pity just someone who wanted to know where she came from, but who was also happy to have the adopted parents that she did. Excellent book review!

  24. August 7, 2009 11:10 am

    This sounds like a fascinating book. Great review!

  25. August 7, 2009 12:13 pm

    Thanks for the review Kathy…this does sound like a great book.

  26. August 8, 2009 2:36 pm

    This sounds really good. What a very interesting life and story. Thank you.

  27. August 9, 2009 6:07 pm

    Great review. I can’t imagine wondering why my mother gave me up, but not my sisters. I am looking forward to reading this one.

  28. August 10, 2009 10:27 am

    Another one I’ve not heard of that sounds really good. Thanks for the review Kathy.

  29. August 12, 2009 11:54 am

    Glad to hear you enjoyed this one. I’ll be starting it soon.

  30. August 15, 2009 8:17 am

    I’ll keep this one in mind. It sounds like a fascinating story.

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