Published 1989 by HarperCollins
Wanwadee Larsen. As if the title isn't enough, the name of the author gives further information as to the subject of this story. This is Exotic Asia mixed with WASPy America.
It is the story of a Thai girl who ventured across the sea, into the unknown, to find happiness, tranquility, and possibly love.
Wanwadee describes herself as different from the stereotypical mail-order bride, who will alledgedly marry just about anyone out of desperation for a better life. She has a reasonably well-off, supporting family in Thailand, and was even engaged to a local boy from an equally good family, when dramatic events ruptured her entire life.
Her disgust at what had happened, as well as an old and half-forgotten dream about America, made her ask her parents to find her a husband in the United States. Using a reputable agency, they did.
Off on her own she went, ready to marry a man she had never seen as soon as she landed in New York - I doubt I would have been as brave. Richard turned out to be kind and handsome (and divorced). However, he also showed other signs which his new bride did not like at all - such as smoking weed and some ill-founded prejudices against African-Americans.
The description of one Oriental woman's gradual settling into American society is very interesting. Equally so are her choices and judgements on values. For instance, she places great trust in the Thai wife's way of getting her husband to do what she wants, eventually.
Want to learn about America? About Thai culture? About what happens when cultures collide? Read this book.