Lori Qian’s memoir, HOW SWEET THE BITTER SOUP goes inside one family to find out how they are successfully and not so dealing with a family member who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. It is a horrific condition which is insidiously affecting more and more families. Lori Qian shares the determination and courage she had to rise above the many limitations before her in a different country and culture.

Her mom was working as a maid. Her dad’s Alzheimer’s was in high gear. And the rent on her parents’ small Chicago apartment had just gone up. Again. But Lori was holding it all together: helping care for her dad and pay her family’s bills, figuring out how to navigate graduate school and four jobs on top of her family responsibilities, and, somehow, continuing to believe that there was more to life than this.

And there was.  An exciting job teaching at a prestigious school in China.  Although the previous month, she had turned down a job offer in Iowa—thinking it was too far away from her family—she felt completely at ease accepting the job in China. Grasping on to the fierce determination she’d had since childhood, Lori found herself in Guangzhou, China, where she fell in love with the culture and with a man from a tiny town in Hubei province.What followed was a transformative adventure—one that will inspire readers to use the bitter to make life even sweeter.

And I LOVE the book cover. Very calming.


After living in China for more than a decade, Lori Qian relocated with her family to Alpine, Utah, ready to embrace an entirely new adventure–from a city of 15 million to a city of 15 thousand!

Lori  was the first in her family to graduate from college and thus is a strong advocate of education and its life-changing power. She has subsequently contributed as a teacher and school leader for more than 20 years.  Lori holds a BA in anthropology and philosophy, an MA in applied linguistics, and has advanced graduate training in school leadership, literacy instruction, and elementary education.

As a part of her quest for continued learning and self-improvement, at the age of 45, Lori began an entirely new career.  She has embraced her role as a Licensed Mortgage Broker, helping people secure funding for their dream of home ownership, a concept that resonates deeply with her as her family builds their own “American Dream”.

More than anything, Lori enjoys spending time with her family, which includes her husband, their 3 children, and their mini golden doodle. She loves every aspect of living the quiet, suburban American lifestyle, from yard work and neighborhood dinners to exploring beautiful hiking trails all around her.

Learning about the world is a high priority, though, and having been blessed to travel to over 20 countries, Lori and her family are looking forward to future chances to learn, explore, and serve around the world.

Qian is currently working on her second book, Fighting for Fitness, a self-help guide for making dramatic life changes, particularly in health and fitness, but in all areas of our lives as well.

Thanks to Kate Rock Lit we have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us about the last memoir you read, and if you haven’t read one, who would you like to read about? We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only please.

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38 thoughts on “HOW SWEET THE BITTER SOUP by Lori Qian – SPOTLIGHT & Giveaway

  1. Wild by Cheryl Strayed stands out. I’m looking forward to reading the new Ann Frank.
    This one sounds amazing. We experienced the journey with my dad. Monday the 23rd is the first anniversary of his death. Thanks for this opportunity

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One memoir I have read….”Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. The one I hope to read soon ….”How Sweet the BitterSoup” by Lori Qian ….🍀🤞☀️✅👍😀🙋🏻‍♀️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My last memoir was Boys in Trees: A Memoir by Carly Simon.
      Very interesting and enjoyable read.
      I will also mention a recent read, Notorious RBG, but I did not much care for it.
      I’m interested in seeing how other families have dealt with Alzheimers. It has had a great presence in ours.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I recently finished listening to Becoming! Very well done! I’ve got Trevor Noah’s book on my list and Educated on my shelf! This one sounds deep and something everyone needs to read about.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I took care of my mother-in-law for over ten years! She had Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease! Sure was heartwrenching! So sad to see her like this, as she was a vibrant, caring woman for most of her life! The title How Sweet The Bitter Soup says it all! The last memoir I read was Coming Home To Myself by Wynonna Judd!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This sounds great! I don’t know if When Memories Leave by Esther Julianne McDaniel is considered a memoir or not. I would like to read about Paul Revere’s wives.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m currently listening to Becoming Michelle Obama and it’s the first Audio Book that has ever really held me. Currently Reading “Life Is Good Wit & Wisdom from a Vermont Homesteader” by Nancy Carey Johnson. Next memoir up is “Saturdays Child” by Deborah Burns

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t know if it counts as a memoir, but I read Kosher Chinese not long ago. It’s the story of a young man who spends a year teaching in China, and the effect it had on him. It was a very enjoyable story.

    Liked by 1 person

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