How could someone leave their life behind and start over completely in a place with no one but their three relatives? This is exactly what Susan Conley did for the sake of her family. After an offer of a lifetime arises for Tony, Susan’s husband, it’s ‘sayonara” to Maine and hello to Beijing, China. Susan and her family experience a multitude of changes as they move, and with the new surroundings and environment, Mrs.Conley learns more about herself and her family than she ever did before.
At first, Susan barely knows a word of Mandarin. She feels isolated and confused and she hardly knows where to start. She spends most of her days working on her novel and taking her two sons, Thorne and Aidan, to the bus stop. There are many days when the only adult she comes in contact with is her husband. After several weeks pass, Susan gets a Chinese teacher named Rose. Every week the language barrier between Conley and the rest of China seems smaller. At the bus stop she meets several other mothers and is eventually invited to a “sweater party”. This seems like a great opportunity to meet other women, but unfortunately, it turns out to not be what she expects, though she didn’t really know what to expect at a sweater party. The Sweater Lady cancels the party and Susan is stuck in a room with eight other women that can barely speak with each other due to their diverse backgrounds. The sweater party turns out to be a flop, but in other ways Susan makes friends and China doesn’t seem as