It was an easy read. It was enjoyable and it doesn’t feel old even though the story happened like 30 years ago.
The author had an unusual journey of how he got to China as a volunteer English teacher, and only later found out about his family’s connection to China. The culture shock depiction (more like reverse culture shock from my perspective when I read the book) was quite realistic. And how things like Latin in a church ceremony could connect people who lived their lives very differently was quite moving. The nice parts and the not-so-nice parts about the Chinese are all quite real.
Apart from all the funny details and cultural references, there are a few takeaways that may be relevant. 1. People’s identity often change based on the culture they are in. 2. Culture is invisible, until you bring some outsider into it, or you become an outsider yourself.
I would recommend this book to whoever interested in Chinese culture in recent years, or Sichuan cuisine.