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Reviewed by Cassie Widjaja for Readers' Favorite
Rabbit in the Moon by Heather Diamond is a fascinating memoir centering around the marriage between a white American and her Chinese husband from Hong Kong. At forty-five years old and married, Heather is studying in China for the summer when she meets Fred, who could not be more different from her past two husbands. A chance meeting leads to a whirlwind affair, and Heather's swept away in multiple mid-life reinventions. Accompanying Fred to see his large, boisterous family on the Hong Kong island of Cheung Chau, Heather struggles to adjust to a completely different culture and its many traditions. Moving seamlessly between Hawaii, Hong Kong, and the continental US, this book is an honest, finely crafted meditation on intercultural marriage, the importance of family, and finding the courage to follow your dreams.
I was first attracted to this book because of the beautiful cover, but I fell in love with it for its content. As a Chinese Indonesian, I recognize several customs and beliefs that Heather Diamond describes and love learning more about my homeland. Having visited Hong Kong, I can attest to the discomfort of not speaking Cantonese and relying on others' translations. In Rabbit in the Moon, Heather points out the fascinating differences between her culture and her husband's. Despite her struggles, Heather is open-minded and respectful, exemplifying the perfect attitude in a foreign culture. As for the romance aspect, Heather keeps it real with her description of an imperfect but sweet relationship with Fred where both still have room to grow. The seamless transitions between Hong Kong and the US make this a satisfying cultural read. Heather ultimately gives me the strength to follow my dreams even when everyone else thinks I am crazy.