Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside

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That is definitely a mouthful of a title. Up to the Moutains and Down to the Countryside by Quincy Carroll is the story of two American men on a journey in China. This was yet another book that I wasn’t sure if I would be into, because of the fact that it’s not of a genre that I typically read. (Maybe I need to stop worrying about the genre of books, and be more open minded-could be a 2016 goal!) Anyway…I realize that every time I think that I’m not going to like a book, I end up really enjoying it. This one I had reservations about, I’m not that into Chinese culture, and due to that fact, I thought this book would bore me. In the end I realized that it actually opened my eyes to what happens in Chinese culture, what it can be like to move to a different country, and how two different people can live in the same area but have different experiences based on how they view life.

This book is about Thomas and Daniel. Both of these guys are English teachers who moved to China, but that’s pretty much all they have in common. One is a sort of carefree guy who isn’t expecting much out of life, and sort of just takes things as they come. That would be Thomas, Daniel is a take the bull by the horns type of guy who wants what he wants and will get it by reaching goals for himself. While is in the middle of reaching his goals, he’s also sort of lost about who he is and who he wants to be.

Both of these men are linked together by one student named Bella, who made me a little uncomfortable to be honest. Most of all I feel this story is about expatriates who are trying to find a way to make the country that they moved to, a better place to live for everyone. This was a really good story, and if you are interesting in China or Chinese culture you will definitely get a kick out of this. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I was asked by the author to review this book, and in exchange he provided me with an e-galley.

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