Paula Gallagher's Reviews > The Foremost Good Fortune

The Foremost Good Fortune by Susan      Conley
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Mar 07, 11

Read in March, 2011

Conley agrees to relocate her family to Beijing for two years as her husband Tony introduces credit-rating systems to state-run banks. He's excited to travel back to the country he'd backpacked through in the mid 80s, and he knows the language. She doesn't, and she's in charge of the minutiae of their daily lives-- caring for their young sons, shopping(including locating $10 a box Honey Nut Cheerios), managing the household (hiring a competent ayi who can cook and clean), and navigating the complicated "dating" rituals required to make new friends. Just as she's beginning to get a handle on things, she discovers two lumps in her left breast.

Beijing is not the place to be when you have a cancer concern, as Conley quickly learns when the Chinese doctor recommends that she wait three months before taking any action. She wisely consults her stateside doctor who uges her to act immediately. It turns out to be cancer, and it's clear she needs to return to the U.S. for top-notch care.

Conley provides an interesting outsider's perception of a very different culture, an experience colored by the stress and fear of fighting cancer in unknown territory.
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