"By Beth Nonte Russell
Touchstone/Simon and Schuster, Inc.; $14
In this poignant personal memoir, Beth Nonte Russell, originally from Indianapolis, shares her experiences of accompanying her friend to China to help her through the process of adopting a little girl. The baby’s fragile state of being frightens Russell’s friend into giving up the adoption but tugs at Russell’s heartstrings, forcing her to make the huge decision of bringing the soulful-eyed infant into her own arms and life.
While recounting her journey, Russell frequently interrupts her journal-like narrative and delves into some very fantastical “dream-visions” that she claims to have experienced every night along the way. Since most of us drastically change from dreaming about Prince Charming one night to having a nightmare about our fourth-grade teacher the next, it’s a little difficult to entirely believe the “nonfictional” description of Russell’s play-by-play formatted dreams. These visions, though incredibly dramatic, cause us to lose our pace with Russell as she walks us through the bustling streets, appalling orphanages and intimidating government checkpoints of China.