Made in China capture[s] the confusion and wonder of lives spent looking ... Qu’s narrative is laced with bitterness and aching ... The struggle...seems to be holding all of these conflicting emotions at once ... Qu honor[s] these complexities, tell us we were not meant to swallow our pain and survive in this world without support systems.
Qu writes with clarity and restraint about her Cinderella-terrible childhood ... Qu's indelible account of her lonesome childhood should gain her everything she lacked then — confidants, witnesses and fans — who will cheer when she finally reconnects with a long-lost beloved.
... lively ... Qu presents her recollections in a precise, distressing chronology that sheds light on both the strictures of her Chinese cultural heritage and the sometimes arbitrary carelessness of the American social system meant to protect youngsters from neglect and mistreatment ... Qu writes with great fluidity, giving her memoir a novelistic reach that speaks of a new career path in the realm of words and their truest meanings. Her mastery of English and her memory of several Chinese dialects will give her gritty memories a special punch for those trapped in similar circumstances, whether as immigrants, sweatshop workers, survivors of childhood abuse, or simply strong young women overcoming the odds to gain the best that life has to offer.
For most of the memoir, Qu tells of her Cinderella-like story, but instead of abuse at the hands of her step-parent, it’s dealt to her by her own mother ... Made in China is difficult at times to read. Yet Qu is well aware that contentious mother-daughter stories are certainly not unique to her. The more she tries to understand her family background in China and the challenges her mother faced there and in the US, the more she finds a semblance of consolation in the way she was treated.
[A] grim and entrancing debut ... A devastating story of abuse and abandonment ... Even in revisiting her harrowing memories, Qu writes from a place of empathy, transcending pain to embrace hope ... This marks the arrival of a promising new voice.
[A] grim yet gripping memoir ... The book is well written and sometimes brilliantly insightful, but it’s also saturated with seething resentment that, while thoroughly understandable, may turn some readers away. A simultaneously powerful and depressing latter-day Dickensian story sure to elicit sympathy from readers.