The Foremost Good Fortune

Susan Conley’s debut memoir, The Foremost Good Fortune, was an Oprah Magazine Top Ten Pick, a Goodreads Choice Award Finalist and won the Maine Award for Memoir. The book tells the story of a three-year stint in Beijing. The writer Jeanne-Marie Laskas of GQ Magazine calls the China we see in The Foremost Good Fortune, “gritty, unforgiving, and magnificently perplexing…how fitting a backdrop for a journey into motherhood.”

The memoir asks tricky questions—how do you talk to children about death? When is it okay to lie? The writer Peggy Orenstein calls the book, “a treasure …one that explores the meaning of our lives, the meaning of motherhood, the meaning of partnership.”

Praise for The Foremost Good Fortune

This is a beautiful story of womanhood, motherhood, travel and loss, written by an author of rare and radiant grace.

— Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

An American mother recounts her struggle to adjust to a new life in Beijing—and then face another challenge, this one medical.

…Her running account of the profound strangeness of both expat existence and contemporary China is fascinating.

Luminous… Conley’s writing is at once spare and strong… [She] pulls the reader into her world like a close friend.

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“a treasure… one that explores the meaning of our lives, the meaning of motherhood, the meaning of partnership.”

— Peggy Orenstein, author of Girls and Sex, Navigating the Complicated New Landscape

You hear about riveting prose, and this is it. The story is nailed down, noisily, in metal. The Foremost Good Fortune is just about as honest a book as you'll ever read.

…Conley’s ability to describe her challenges honestly, without self-pity, leads you not only to relate to her, but also to admire her.