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Away from China

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When Italian citizen Roberto G. Ferrari embarked on a journey to adopt a young Chinese boy, the twenty-five days the adoptive father spent there offered him a rare insider's vantage of the famously closed country during an intensely intimate time for his family. To process the experience, the adoptive father chronicled those days in China, exploring the country through the When Italian citizen Roberto G. Ferrari embarked on a journey to adopt a young Chinese boy, the twenty-five days the adoptive father spent there offered him a rare insider's vantage of the famously closed country during an intensely intimate time for his family. To process the experience, the adoptive father chronicled those days in China, exploring the country through the deeply personal lens of his son's connection to his homeland. Ferrari also took in China from the perspective of a Westerner attempting to make sense of this burgeoning global power. Both reflective and informative, Ferrari's detailed account of the adoption process takes in modern China as it increasingly opens its doors to the Western world. In doing so, "Away from China" offers invaluable practical guidance on the international adoption process, as well as the author's insight on key locales in the country from the point of view of a seasoned traveler. From the monuments of Taiyuan to Tienanmen Square, "Away from China" considers this fascinating, rapidly changing nation for an adoptive father and his Chinese son.


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When Italian citizen Roberto G. Ferrari embarked on a journey to adopt a young Chinese boy, the twenty-five days the adoptive father spent there offered him a rare insider's vantage of the famously closed country during an intensely intimate time for his family. To process the experience, the adoptive father chronicled those days in China, exploring the country through the When Italian citizen Roberto G. Ferrari embarked on a journey to adopt a young Chinese boy, the twenty-five days the adoptive father spent there offered him a rare insider's vantage of the famously closed country during an intensely intimate time for his family. To process the experience, the adoptive father chronicled those days in China, exploring the country through the deeply personal lens of his son's connection to his homeland. Ferrari also took in China from the perspective of a Westerner attempting to make sense of this burgeoning global power. Both reflective and informative, Ferrari's detailed account of the adoption process takes in modern China as it increasingly opens its doors to the Western world. In doing so, "Away from China" offers invaluable practical guidance on the international adoption process, as well as the author's insight on key locales in the country from the point of view of a seasoned traveler. From the monuments of Taiyuan to Tienanmen Square, "Away from China" considers this fascinating, rapidly changing nation for an adoptive father and his Chinese son.

50 review for Away from China

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ioana

    I won "Away from China" on a GoodReads giveaway. The book is one man's story of adopting their second child, a Chinese boy, Yong. The author gives some background information about himself and his family, but he dives into the story quickly. He confesses that adoption is not a normal and usual thing done by Italians (I didn't know that) and we later find out that a second international adoption is a very rare thing in Italy (of course, I didn't know that either). This is a fairly easy read, espec I won "Away from China" on a GoodReads giveaway. The book is one man's story of adopting their second child, a Chinese boy, Yong. The author gives some background information about himself and his family, but he dives into the story quickly. He confesses that adoption is not a normal and usual thing done by Italians (I didn't know that) and we later find out that a second international adoption is a very rare thing in Italy (of course, I didn't know that either). This is a fairly easy read, especially because of its style. Simple language, short sentences are predominant especially in the beginning, but as the book progresses they are more expanded and add a fluency to the book. From the very beginning it felt like I was reading someone's journal, and this is probably exactly as it was written. The author mentions that he used an iPad to record his thoughts and feelings about the whole experience. This, I think, brought an even greater layer of authenticity. Speaking of which. This man is sure honest about the whole thing. So honest and open that a few times I had to ask myself if these were best left out. But in retrospective, this is what makes the book so enjoyable. His relationship with his wife and daughter, and then with Yong, his daughter's reactions and behaviour during their stay in China, his bonding (not struggle-free!) with Yong... all these were openly shared. It's interesting and useful to see how he tries to find the right way to treat Yong, how to make the child trust him, but also obey him and his wife, Laura. Probably one of my favourite parts was when he had a "turning point", as he call it, when he understood that it was him, not Yong, that was the problem in their deficient bonding. This is such a fascinating thought, as he mentioned a few times that it rarely seemed to be a linguistic barrier; Yong seemed able to understand what they communicated to him and could even answer some of their answers with "yes" and "no". This book is really helpful for those considering an international adoption, whether it is from China or another country, as it offers insight into some worrisome aspects of adoption. There are also pretty lengthy passages of Chinese historical facts. He is obviously interested in these details, as he should be, but for someone who's less keen on this aspect, it's a part that can be skipped since it doesn't harm the understanding of the "story". In all these mini lectures on Chinese history and touristic guide-like information, I never once got the feeling of superiority towards the Eastern lifestyle and mentality. Not once did I get the feeling he's a superior Westerner. Speaking of which, there is a great passage on this on pages 68-69. What I found to be a little annoying were the commas and the grammar mistakes. In the beginning it was more annoying, but as you get swept into the retelling of the events you can overlook them, although you have to re-read a sentence to understand it; it's the misplaced comma's fault. ;)) All in all, it was an enjoyable read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ilona

    Okay, I am just going to write what I really think about this book with all the honesty I can apply. No offence, please. Let's begin with what I liked (for it's always better to begin with something nice and pleasant, isn't it?). So I liked the mere idea. Really, adoption is a very urgent problem nowadays and especially international adoption where people run a number of risks like intercultural misunderstandings or ethnic prejudices and stereotypes, etc. and it's really good to get an advice fro Okay, I am just going to write what I really think about this book with all the honesty I can apply. No offence, please. Let's begin with what I liked (for it's always better to begin with something nice and pleasant, isn't it?). So I liked the mere idea. Really, adoption is a very urgent problem nowadays and especially international adoption where people run a number of risks like intercultural misunderstandings or ethnic prejudices and stereotypes, etc. and it's really good to get an advice from the person who has gone through this process himself and can speak based on his own experience and not some theoretical assumptions. And the advices in this book are good indeed, the author depicts everything in detail so that you are able to see all the cons and pros. The other thing I enjoyed were the facts about China, many of them were new to me and very informative, the author pays attention to very important points in Chinese culture only I must admit I would like to see more comment on what he sees, more personal comments I mean, from the viewpoint of a Westerner, It would be really interesting to see how a Westerner feels when he finds himself in a quite strange culture, inside of oriental culture. Unfortunately I was able to feel it only at some moments but not throughout the book. Another positive point I can't omit is that the author shows the development of relations between himself and his son in the course of time. Although the book describes only one month from their life we can see how the attitude of them towards each other slowly changes, how the conflict between them develops and is solved at last. Now unfortunately I have to give a little bit of criticism from my side, constructive criticism as I should like to hope. Firstly it considers the style. I am quite aware that it is the first attempt of the author but really the style is more like that of a magazine article but not a work of fiction. I have nothing against the publicistic style but if it was supposed to be a work of fiction then one would expect it to use a more colourful language. maybe I failed to see such language because I was reading a translation and not the original Italian version. But I shall repeat that from a work of fiction i would expect the usage of stylistic devises and more varicoloured lexics. but I'm sure that such drawback is the one that can be corrected by gaining more writing experience, so I won't dwell on it any more. The next point is the characters. Unfortunately the only good-developed character here is Yong and maybe the narrator, the others lack some more detail. Some facts about the previous life of characters and some more explanation in the beginning of the novel about how the idea of adoption came in sight would be advisable. In conclusion I would like to thank the author for sharing his deeply personal experiences with the readers and I hope that this novel is only the first step in his writing carrier and that some new works will appear later.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    I read the Italian edition (via dalla China). A moving adoption story and an interesting portrait of China!! Easy to read, I liked it very much.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Roberto Ferrari

    Proof

  5. 5 out of 5

    Manuelissima

    This story is an experience of an Italian family, about a special travel, a new life due the adoption experience. The book is a wonderful mixture of description of the adoption process and the travel in China. The author writes about the experience of strong emotion due to the incredible and not so easy adoption process, lived with his wife Laura, and described as the pillar of the family, Rebecca their first daughter. They go to China to meet Yong: a new family will be start from this experience. This story is an experience of an Italian family, about a special travel, a new life due the adoption experience. The book is a wonderful mixture of description of the adoption process and the travel in China. The author writes about the experience of strong emotion due to the incredible and not so easy adoption process, lived with his wife Laura, and described as the pillar of the family, Rebecca their first daughter. They go to China to meet Yong: a new family will be start from this experience. The author gives detailed descriptions, joint to conflicting feelings, happiness, tenderness, moment's thought observing his new family sleeping , thinking about his new life: “He’s my son”. At the same time you have a deep look at Chinese culture. There are a lot of detailed descriptions of places, temples and many aspects of the culture, traditions. This is a delicate book for friends and families who want to know more about the adoption or a useful guide for the family who are looking for support along the way

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ricky

    It is a book about an adoption but also a book about China. It is an very informative journey through China. I was taken by hand in the exploration of amazing places and it was like traveling in my armchair. Informative also from an historical and artistical point of view. A nice mix of emotions and cultural information.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Maria Luisa

    Ho trovato il testo di questo libro vero perchè esprime e analizza sentimenti moilto umani. E' di facile lettura e ricco di notizie interessanti.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Manuelissima

    This story is an experience of an Italian family, about a special travel, a new life due the adoption experience. The book is a wonderful mixture of description of the adoption process and the travel in China. The author writes about the experience of strong emotion due to the incredible and not so easy adoption process, lived with his wife Laura, and described as the pillar of the family, Rebecca their first daughter. They go to China to meet Yong: a new family will be start from this experience. This story is an experience of an Italian family, about a special travel, a new life due the adoption experience. The book is a wonderful mixture of description of the adoption process and the travel in China. The author writes about the experience of strong emotion due to the incredible and not so easy adoption process, lived with his wife Laura, and described as the pillar of the family, Rebecca their first daughter. They go to China to meet Yong: a new family will be start from this experience. The author gives detailed descriptions, joint to conflicting feelings, happiness, tenderness, moment's thought observing his new family sleeping , thinking about his new life: “He’s my son”. At the same time you have a deep look at Chinese culture. There are a lot of detailed descriptions of places, temples and many aspects of the culture, traditions. This is a delicate book for friends and families who want to know more about the adoption or a useful guide for the family who are looking for support along the way.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jay Arcy

    This book gives the reader a glimpse of the process of international adoption. It details the challenges faced by the adopting parents and their child, and the feeling of fulfillment after the adopted child is brought home to his new family. It makes the reader realize that orphans have their share of challenges and disappointments too in the adoption process. Both parties have a lot of adjusting to, not to mention accepting the long bureaucratic process. Adoption is something that one must not This book gives the reader a glimpse of the process of international adoption. It details the challenges faced by the adopting parents and their child, and the feeling of fulfillment after the adopted child is brought home to his new family. It makes the reader realize that orphans have their share of challenges and disappointments too in the adoption process. Both parties have a lot of adjusting to, not to mention accepting the long bureaucratic process. Adoption is something that one must not only be financially prepared for, but one must be emotionally and mentally prepared as well. I have always admired people who adopt kids. This book made me admire and respect them even more. This is a must-read, not only for those who wish to adopt in the future, but also for everyone, so you would better understand the adoption process. Got a copy of this through Goodreads.com. Thank you. And thank you to Mr. Ferrari for sending me a copy of his precious book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Aleks Dimova

    * I won this book on a Goodreads Giveaway* **I'm really sorry for mistakes and not so good review. ** I really enjoyed reading this book because it's about child adoption and China, two topics I'm interested in. Since I was little I wanted to work with children and particularly with adoption. And "Away from China" made me understand that it's not easy, especially when it's international. I liked that Yong wasn't and "easy" child, I mean he had his bad moments and it was hard for the parents, but t * I won this book on a Goodreads Giveaway* **I'm really sorry for mistakes and not so good review. ** I really enjoyed reading this book because it's about child adoption and China, two topics I'm interested in. Since I was little I wanted to work with children and particularly with adoption. And "Away from China" made me understand that it's not easy, especially when it's international. I liked that Yong wasn't and "easy" child, I mean he had his bad moments and it was hard for the parents, but they didn't give up. The author sometimes was on the edge but still he loves Yong and couldn't imagine his life without him and that filled my heart with warmth and love. The other topic is China. In the last couple of years I've been interested in Asia and from the book I've learned some interesting things about China and it's culture and history. So yes it's a good book, easy to read. :)

  11. 4 out of 5

    J. A. Lewis

    I think Roberto Ferrari paints a fairly realistic picture of what it is to adopt a child from China. Having a close friend who adopted a one year old girl, I remember some of the ups and downs she went through not just in the process, but the days following her adoption and bringing her home. Mr. Ferrari does a nice job of describing the events of the adoption and their site seeing adventures with a 2-1/2 year old boy who had spent his days in an orphanage. He also unveils his own shortcomings i I think Roberto Ferrari paints a fairly realistic picture of what it is to adopt a child from China. Having a close friend who adopted a one year old girl, I remember some of the ups and downs she went through not just in the process, but the days following her adoption and bringing her home. Mr. Ferrari does a nice job of describing the events of the adoption and their site seeing adventures with a 2-1/2 year old boy who had spent his days in an orphanage. He also unveils his own shortcomings in dealing with a hyperactive child that has been dropped into his hands (and heart). Nice read and may be enlightening for individuals who are looking to adopt.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Luca

    Bella storia, tema importante. Fluido, piacevole e con una narrativa tipo diario di bordo. Aspetto il prossimo....

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    kindle 138 (adoption)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Daniela Arcos

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shizuo Heiwajima

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra Roxana

  17. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ana

  20. 5 out of 5

    Giuliano Guenzi

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gg

  22. 4 out of 5

    Qamar

    From the comfort of my home this book took me on a very well narrated journey to China.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amar Cp

  24. 4 out of 5

    Angela Sekovska

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mauro

  26. 5 out of 5

    Roberto Ferrari

  27. 5 out of 5

    Silviia

  28. 4 out of 5

    Monica Riva

  29. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nicola Fantom

  31. 4 out of 5

    Betty

  32. 5 out of 5

    Julie Alosi

  33. 5 out of 5

    Janelea

  34. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

  35. 5 out of 5

    Sylvie

  36. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Gates

  37. 4 out of 5

    Richard Tyler

  38. 4 out of 5

    Rosanna

  39. 4 out of 5

    Kim Coomey

  40. 4 out of 5

    Karen Bainbridge

  41. 5 out of 5

    Ileana Agüero

  42. 4 out of 5

    thePromoParrot

  43. 5 out of 5

    Sally

  44. 5 out of 5

    Laura Dobb

  45. 5 out of 5

    Jeary

  46. 4 out of 5

    Ricardo

  47. 5 out of 5

    Vivian Muia

  48. 5 out of 5

    Sunaina

  49. 5 out of 5

    Samira

  50. 5 out of 5

    Kathlyn La

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