Ebook: 370KB 354 pages in print edition.
Genre: Personal Memoir
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (30 Mar 2010)
First Sentences: Prologue: Her dainty hands were numb from too many hours sitting outside under the bridge.
My Opinion: Great material but disappointingly presented.
Oh dear, I am just not sure about this memoir, I probably would not have chosen to read this if I had picked up the paper back copy in a bookshop or a library. As it was on my Kindle, my daughter's choice and I was in China at the time, it seemed an appropriate choice to read. There are good and bad points about this memoir and for the good points it is readable. The upside is that as a factual although distressing memoir of an American ex-pat in China chronicling her time helping in a orphanage, it is an eye opener. Worthwhile reading then for subject matter but when it came to the writing style it just not seem to flow properly and it felt very repetitive at times.
Written in journal style format Kay Bratt chronicles her time in China giving us an insight into how life is for an ex-pat in China. We read how different the role of a Chinese child is within the family and what happens to the many orphans that are victims of this system. The author's viewpoint can at times be difficult to connect with as her unhappiness comes out in her writing, making her sound like she was moaning about her lot much of the time, which I am sure she was not doing really. She just felt drained by the horrendous scenes she witnessed whilst working at the orphanage, trying to help improve the conditions, but feeling she was getting nowhere. In fact she achieved an amazing amount. Maybe it is also worth mentioning that this was back in 2003 that the Bratt family were relocated to China and surely Chinese orphanages have improved since then. One certainly hopes so and I believe that Kay Bratt is continuing to support the plight of children in China.
This book will certainly give you something to think about and the descriptions will linger in your mind. How can this sort of thing be happening in modern society? A harrowing subject that we should all be made aware of, if it does nothing else it will make you appreciate how lucky we are in this part of the world.
If you have time please read the information I have included in the author profile from the author's website as I feel it will highlight what this lady has done for Chinese orphans. She may have struggled to put her feelings into print in the memoir as I have reviewed but that does not mean she was not dedicated to the cause.
Kay Bratt is a child advocate and author, residing in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in South Carolina with her husband, daughter, dog, and cat. Kay lived in China for over four years and because of her experiences working with orphans, she strives to be the voice for children who cannot speak for themselves. She is currently an active volunteer for the non-profit organization called An Orphans Wish (AOW). I read on her website this organisation closed down at the end of 2013, so not sure how she is continuing with her support.
The biographical information and photo used in this post are with thanks to the following websites, where you can also find more information about the author and her writing.
Amazon Author Profile Twitter Profile - Kay Bratt Goodreads - Author Profile
Facebook - Kay Bratt Kay Bratt -Official Author Website
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