Review: The Natural Laws of Good Luck
Ellen Graf was a divorced, single mother and artist. She wasn’t having any luck with love, even after trying the personal ads. When a Chinese-American friend suggested fixing Ellen up with her brother, Lu Zhong-hua, who still lived in China, Ellen decided it’s worth a try.
Ellen flew to China to meet Zhong-hua and they decided to get married while she’s there, in spite of the fact that they’ve just met and neither speaks the other one’s language. After their marriage, Ellen has to return to the States and wait while her new husband gets a visa. In the meantime, they’re each taking classes in the other’s native tongue. A year and a half later, Zhong-hua comes to America to live with is wife and her teen-age daughter. Ellen and Zhong-hua have some cultural differences and face financial difficulties plus health problems, but somehow they make it all work.
The Natural Laws of Good Luck by Ellen Graf is the story of her life with her new husband Lu Zhong-hua. I have to admit that I thought she was crazy when I first started reading the book. I mean, who would fly thousands of miles to meet someone and then marry them right away? I was engrossed in the story as I read it and found Ellen and her children to be incredibly open and loving people. It was interesting to read about Zhong-hua’s assimilation into American culture – some of his attitudes served as a gentle reminder that we don’t always value the right things in this country. I did feel like Ellen was making more of the compromises in their marriage, and at times that really irritated me. Between that and the continued use of broken English by Zhong-hua, the book was just okay for me. (I do realize that Zhong-hua speaks that way, but reading things like, “Make ten dollars, spend ten dollars buy gas. No money pay church. I just think, what time I get – that time I pay.” just aggravated me after a while.) I do appreciate the fact that Ellen and her husband have bridged cultural differences to form a strong relationship.