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Reviewed by Foluso Falaye for Readers' Favorite
Covid-19 was said to originate from China and some notable individuals went as far as to call it the "China virus". However, regardless of where it originated, only love and empathy for our fellow humans can help us win the fight against it—not discrimination; not selfishness. The Love of Panda Our Common Ground depicts the 2020 Covid-19 calamity from the perspective of a young Chinese woman in the United States. Elizabeth R. Jia points out the different ways that American leaders and the media stigmatize China and reveals the various things that make China exceptional. Regardless of these discouraging developments and the social restrictions that came with Covid-19, Elizabeth still experienced the joy of eating delicious meals, playing golf, watching epic movies, and painting and snapping several pictures—which she includes in the book.
The world will be a more harmonious and peaceful place if we all embraced the values that Elizabeth R. Jia suggests as instrumental to China in battling Covid-19: flexibility, optimism, awareness, kindness, self-sacrifice, and more. Apart from the author's record of her daily activities, the book offers an absorbing, deep, and thorough analysis of different political, historical, and cultural topics. The well-executed diary format of the book coupled with the beautiful pictures of tantalizing foods and aesthetic places creates an immersive, relaxing experience that makes you eager to see the next page and more until the very last page. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that teachers in China come from "the top 30 percent of graduates" and are well-paid and well-respected. The Love of Panda Our Common Ground will be enjoyed by an open-minded audience and lovers of award-worthy, exquisite cultural memoirs.