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Lucky Girl

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  760 ratings  ·  142 reviews
In a true story of family ties, journalist Mei-Ling Hopgood, one of the first wave of Asian adoptees to arrive in America, comes face to face with her past when her Chinese birth family suddenly requests a reunion after more than two decades.

In 1974, a baby girl from Taiwan arrived in America, the newly adopted child of a loving couple in Michigan. Mei-Ling Hopgood had an
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Hardcover, 244 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by Algonquin Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,080)
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Kathy (Bermudaonion)
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 adop
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Vikki Ortiz
I started reading Lucky Girl on a flight out of town for vacation. I was so captivated by the story from the first chapters, I was almost disappointed when I arrived at my destination and had to stop reading! Hopgood tells an amazing tale made believable and real through her skilled journalistic observations and note taking. The historic background and research adds a depth to the book that takes us beyond mere journal entries. She brings us along on her journey in which we are asked us to consi ...more
Pamela
As an adoptive parent of a child from China, I am very glad I bought this book, as I think my kids will benefit from reading it when they are older. It was very refreshing to me to read about someone who did not view their adoption as a great tragedy or a hole that will never be filled. I accept that some people feel this way. I accept my own children might feel this way. But sometimes when I read adult adoptee writings or even adoption literature, it sounds as if ALL adoptees will or should fee ...more
Kate
This memoir is different from many of the others I have read recently. A lot of authors lately either construct a contrived set of circumstances to chronicle, or they get super-revelatory, sharing scandalous or just plain embarassing anecdotes, thoughts, etc.
Quite the opposite, this book details a young American woman discovering her birth family in China and developing relationships with her birth parents and her siblings. So, there is something of substance for her to to share with readers. Al
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Deirdre
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lauren
I'm having a hard time really getting absorbed in this story. I want to be interested but the tempo of the sentences or the structure is a bit off putting. I'm not very far in and will continue pugging away but so far, it is work.

After the first 30 pages I really enjoyed this book. There are a couple times when I had trouble following who the author was talking about and there are some editing issues that hopefully were dealt with prior to publishing but the story was very engaging.

Althought the
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Larry Bassett
Feb 18, 2011 Larry Bassett rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone with a personal experience of an Asian adoption
Shelves: china, memoir
Lucky Girl is a must-read if you are a parent, sibling, or other close relative of an adopted Asian girl. Others may find it less compelling. I give it an extra star since I have an adopted Chinese daughter.

Mei-Ling Hopgood came to the United States when she was 8 months old, given up by her biological parents and adopted by a Caucasian couple in Michigan. She spent her growing up years trying to be a white American in spite of her Asian background and appearance. She left Taiwan, China behind
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Kristen
I picked up this book because I really enjoyed Mei-Ling Hopgood's book, How Eskimos Keep Their Children Warm and I wanted to read her first book. This one did not disappoint.

It's the autobiographical story of a Chinese American woman, adopted as an infant by a white family living in Detroit, whose birth family in Taiwan contacts her and arranges for her to come meet them in person. Her journey bridges distance, time, language and cultural barriers, and a wide range of emotions as she meets the
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Kate
As soon as Mei-Ling Hopgood recounts the hectic, excited first phone call she gets from her Chinese biological family, in the first chapters (really an extension of the prologue), my heart was won. In chapter 2 Hopgood beautifully imagines her parents' young lives in Kinmen Island in the Taiwan Straits, suffering Mao's constant real and propaganda-filled bombs. Hopgood also shares the letters to her adoptive parents from the young nun who kept her and worked for months to push her adoption throu ...more
Shigi
I won "Lucky Girl" from one of Goodreads' giveaways. It's an interesting read, detailing both how journalist Mei-Ling Hopgood's adoption as an infant came about and the aftermath as she grew up in a happy American family and what transpired after she reconnected with her Taiwanese birth family who gave her up for adoption. Many things in the book will ring true for Asian Americans, adopted or not, growing up in an American society as they did for me. Of course, Mei-Ling's experiences are uniquel ...more
Pamela
Bravo to the author of this memoir. I won a pre-release copy of "Lucky Girl" at just the right time. I had just finished "Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China" by Jung Chang. With my brain still processing the history and communism of China, and the rich culture of Asia steeped in tradition, this was a very compelling read.

This book is one adopted person's story of finding her birth-parents and natural family. Born in Taiwan and raised in the United States, Mei-Ling Hopgood gives a first-person
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Kennedy
I won this thru the goodreads first read program, but it's certainly a book I would have picked up on my own.

For me, the most interesting part of the story was the Chinese culture that puts such a priority on male children as opposed to females. The author was born to a family that, unluckily for them, kept having baby girls. The father becomes obsessed with having a boy. The author and a younger sister were given up for adoption because they were girls and while the family could keep a boy, th
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Joanna Eng
I appreciated what Hopgood had to say and think transracial/international adoption is an important topic to write about. I could also relate to some of the way she felt when visiting a "home country" that wasn't really her home.

However, I was a little disappointed with this book. I thought the style and structure were a little simplistic. It was a little too much like "This happened; and then this happened; and then this happened; and then I felt like this...."

I also found it strange that Hopgoo
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Catherine
Free book from GoodReads giveaways.

Mei-Ling Hopgood spent the first twenty-some years of her life with her adoptive parents in a loving home in a Michigan suburb. Through a couple of casual contacts with the nun who arranged her adoption, Mei-Ling's birth parents in Taiwan sent word that they wished to make contact with her.

Hopgood takes the reader with her as she learns of the circumstances that led to her adoption, the many members of her birth family, and her own self-discovery. The writing
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Amy (mrsAmy#s)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Becky
Enjoyed reading this one in light of our own plans to adopt internationally. I thought the memoir had a good balance of events and Mei Ling's emotions, and I thought that her emotions come across as balanced as well. She embraces a chaotic, complicated sisterhood, she tries to connect with her mother, she comes to mostly despise her father, and she strengthens her relationship with her adoptive parents. She is indeed a lucky girl, and I hope that I am a lucky girl in our journey to find our daug ...more
Lauren
Mei-Ling is a twenty-something journalist still finding her ground in what will become her life-long career when her birth family suddenly re-appears in her life. As a toddler, Mei-Ling was put up for adoption in Taiwan and promptly brought to live with a loving American family in Michigan. Despite how isolated she felt as an Asian American living in the Midwest, Mei-Ling had never spent much time wondering where she came from, with a supportive set of parents and two younger adopted brothers. O ...more
Jennifer Wilson
I have this feeling that this memoir by an adopted Chinese-American is about to get nuts ... the family from China is desperately, repeatedly trying to contact her. Looking forward to finding out what happens next.
Shawn
This could have been an interesting story, but instead lack of depth and poor writing made it a bit dull.
Julia
Mei-Ling Hopgood always knew she had been adopted -- hard to miss since she was Chinese and her Michigan parents Caucasian! During her happy childhood she never wondered much about her biological family. After graduating from college and becoming a journalist, a chance encounter with the nun who hand-delivered her from China into the arms of her adoptive parents opens a door into her past. Mei-Ling then has to ask herself whether she wants to learn about her biological family, whether she wants ...more
Sara
from a blog post:

As part of their comic strip, hubby Bill and friend Gene post a weekly book review. Publishers love this, which translates into many boxes of "advance reading copy" books at our front door. Once in a while, one of them piques my curiosity.

I spent most of Sunday morning curled up on the couch ignoring my kids (who were playing happily near by) so I could explore one of these advance copies that Bill put in my space. Foremost, Lucky Girl was a pleasure to read. Mei-Ling Hopgood is
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Komal
Basically, Lucky Girl is about an adopted Chinese girl who gets in touch with her birth family and the story of why and how she was adopted. Furthermore, not only does she describe her life with her adopted family, but also how she came to meet her birth parents and her interactions with them.

I was actually surprised with how much I enjoyed the book. Yes it has several flaws, but because I am second generation South Asian, I could understand the complexity of being an American and being Asian,
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Kirsten
Until Mei-Ling Hopgood was in college, she knew she was adopted and she knew the barest bones of her early life story, but she didn't particularly feel the need to seek out more information about her birth family. She loved her parents, a loving Midwestern couple, and she adamantly thought of herself as an all-American girl.

When she meets the nun who originally organized her adoption, however, she finds herself agreeing to get in touch with her Taiwanese family. The next thing she knows, she is
...more
Polly Stahl
This is an excellent book about a girl adopted from Taiwan by an American couple. She discovers her birth family as an adult and comes to enjoy a bond with her many sisters. She travels to Taiwan on several occasions and one of her sisters spends some time with her in the US. She attempts to have a bond with her birth mother but a language and emotional barrier more or less prevents it. Her sisters blame their father for her adoption and that of another sister who was adopted by parents in Switz ...more
Lauren
*SLIGHT SPOILERS BELOW*

This is the story of a Chinese woman who was adopted by white, American parents. The book is the story of her first contact with her biological family, how it changed her identity, and how she learned more about her bio family & their past than they initially wanted to present to her.

I was particularly interested in the parts when she learned more about why she was placed for adoption. Her father craved a son as a series of daughters were born every few years, and it
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Colleen
This well-written and sometimes painfully honest memoir was an excellent read that I highly recommend. I was touched by Mei-Ling's situation growing up as part of a blended family, trying to create an identity independent of her ehtnicity. When she is confronted with the opportunity to learn more about her birth family, I was impressed by her original attitude and yet concerned that it might all go terribly wrong. The story of that meeting and the relationship Mei-Ling eventually forges with her ...more
Leigha
As an English student I spend a lot of time reading books that have lasted for hundreds of years. I read books about people, their lives, and their connections and I find too many books in recent years are no more than infantile spit up on a page with good marketing. The sensational dog and pony show of murder mysteries and romance novels make me want to cry out “Is there no room for art!”. Many of the books I am sent from goodreads have this very problem. I would say that this is because goodre ...more
Janet
Lucky Girl is the true story of a Chinese girl who was adopted by an American couple in the 1970's. She didn't plan to search for her birth family. But a chance encounter with the nun who arranged her adoption brought about a family reunion. Hopgood tells her story of discovery and complicated family relationships. I found the book to be a interesting story that made me laugh and cry. I thought it was rather sad that her adopted brothers were unable to find out anything about their own birth fam ...more
Lisa
Mei-Ling was adopted from Taiwan. One day, she gets a call, from her birth parents saying how much they miss her and love her. She goes to Taiwan and find out that her parents are now more upper class, than they were before, since she was adopted.
I can make a text to text connection. Mei- Ling was adopted, she has visited her home and I have visited china, I went to the Orphanage i was taken too. I sometimes dream about meeting my birth parents and seeing how they would react now that I am much
...more
Lianne
I received an advance copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway.

Mei-Ling Hopgood's story is interesting -- an adopted, Chinese-born American girl who gets in touch with her Chinese birth family. Through this, she faces cultural barriers, discovers her place in both of her families (adopted and biological), and learns her birth family's secrets. I enjoyed reading about all of those things and following her journey. I particularly enjoyed seeing some elements of traditional Chinese culture th
...more
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Mei-Ling Hopgood is an award-winning journalist who has written for the Detroit Free Press, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, National Geographic Traveler, and the Miami Herald, and has worked in the Cox Newspapers Washington bureau. She lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with her husband and their daughter. A newspaper feature she wrote for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about the reunion with her birth f ...more
More about Mei-Ling Hopgood...
How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm: And Other Adventures in Parenting (from Argentina to Tanzania and everywhere in between) How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm: Parenting wisdom from around the world Comment les Eskimos gardent les bébés au chaud (Essais et documents) Comment Les Eskimos Gardent Les Bebes Au Chaud

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