Dragon Day by Lisa Brackmann is the final book in the Ellie McEnroe trilogy about American vereran of the Iraqi War currently living in Beijing (available August 18, 2015).
This novel had me hooked from the very first page, when our heroine, Ellie McEnroe, describes in her distinctively wry narrative voice not only modern China, its observers and its beliefs, but also how she relates to each:
Dragons and China. It’s the biggest fucking cliche. If you ever go looking for books about China, you know how many of them have “dragon” in the title? Like all of them, practically.
Thing is, dragons are a big deal in China [...] Out of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac, Dragon is the one you most want your kid to be. Dragon babies are attractive, smart, natural leaders, bring good fortune to the family. Yeah, I know all the other animals are supposed to have positive characteristics, but come on. You’re telling me you’d choose to be a Sheep over a Dragon?
Me, I’m a Rat. Obviously I’m not winning any zodiac beauty contest. Sure, they say we’re clever survivors, and that’s useful, I guess. It’s true I’ve survived some pretty crazy shit.
On the other hand, if I’m so clever, why do I keep walking into it?