The review below was written by John “Rusty” Huddleston, a Vietnam vet I first met in Dak Ho, South Vietnam some 52 years ago. John lives in Sydney, Australia today. He became an expat after being spat upon and scorned when he returned home.
China and Me is available on Amazon.
“Animals are a window to your soul and a doorway to your spiritual destiny. If you let them into your life and allow them to teach you, you will be better for it.”
The power in your book is your openness and inherent honesty.
Your story of your odyssey with China is both simple and complex at the same time. It is also subtle.
You do not use the word ‘love’, but it is on almost every page in your book. That’s what makes it so moving.
I know I have read a good book when I get to the end and I am sad. I write ‘I am sad’ because I wanted more. I didn’t want it to end.
Your tenderness is on every page. It is evident when you were going to return China to Parrot Mountain and when you got there you couldn’t do it. It was present when you saw China after he had flown away. It was there when you gave him a mate.
Each page had both tenderness and love.
The story of you and China was not about a glamorous movie star, but about a woman who formed a loving relationship with a wild animal. That’s what made it so moving.
Your epilogue was honest and moving. You referred to Joanie Olander and Mamie Van Doren was there, but it was written by the wise Raindrop that is here today.
Through your book the reader gets to know you better. I got to know you better.
The epilogue was written by your true self, but your true self also stands out on every page.
The story begins with Joanie Olander loving farm animals. Mamie Van Doren loved animals too and Raindrop provided the wisdom that age, and a life well lived, endows.
And so this is my last email of the year. It is appropriate that it is for you.
I have learned so much this year and the profound benefit of knowing you intimately.
I know if Raindrop writes Secrets of the Goddess, it will be a east seller.
Please tell China Happy New Year for me.