No Blue Sky: An American Traveler’s Glimpse of China is not just another travel book on China. Glenda R. Burkett takes you with her as she travels through this vast and mysterious, ancient country. From start to finish Ms. Burkett gives you a step-by-step idea of what she did to prepare for her adventure. She continues with incidentals of events that took place while she was in the country. Ms. Burkett mentions such things as what to avoid, places to see, cultural information and the air and water quality, just to name a few. Her daily log style makes the information very personal and she tends to pepper the book with informative vignettes that would not normally be known by tourists. The author describes her excursion to the Great Wall and the travel restrictions that were in place. She was amazed at the many skyscrapers and says, “Wow! What a city! Every direction has a skyline that is bigger than Manhattan’s.”
By the time you are halfway through this little 87-page adventure you will be excited about visiting China but when you get to the last few pages, it will put you over the edge. Glenda ends the book with 20 pages of beautiful color pictures from her amazing adventure. These color pictures are not the standard postcard pics but more personal pictures showing you the face of the future China, its children. Her other pictures show average Chinese people at open air markets and doing daily things. The pictures show you the real China, the behind the scenes China you don’t usually see in travel magazines.
Ms. Burkett’s descriptive verbiage and accompanying illustrations and photographs make for an interesting and informative read. I really enjoyed No Blue Sky: An American Traveler’s Glimpse of China and give it a good solid A on my scale. Although my wife (who happens to be Chinese) didn’t agree with everything in Ms. Burkett’s book, she does concede that the author packs a lot of good information in so little a volume. The cover is appealing, the editing done well and the subject is covered quite thoroughly.
(Reviewed by William Phenn for Reader Views)