Russell was asked by a friend, Alex, to accompany her to China to help her pick up the baby she and her husband were adopting. While parents usually make the trip together, Alex's husband had to stay home to care for another child. Russell didn't know Alex all that well, but agreed to go anyway. In this offbeat memoir, Russell describes the trip. It wasn't long into it before she noticed signs of Alex's ambivalenceâ€” she'd brought no camera to document the baby's adoption, and she'd refused to spend more time in China than was absolutely necessary. Meanwhile, Russell was having heavily symbolic dreams: she was an empress of China pregnant with an illegitimate child who had to be given away for adoption. Before long, Alex confessed that she didn't want this baby after all, and Russell fell in love with the baby herself. In the end, Russell brought home the baby she felt she was meant to have.
This book is an easy 2 day read, if that. It was hard for me to put down. The story included a view into what adoption in China is as well as the unbelievable conditions the poor babies live in. The story takes you back and forth between this trip and the dreams that Beth is having about a prior life in China where she had a baby and had to give it up. A good book club book.