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This is the story of a journey to Southern California, home of the American Dream, in search of fame and fortune to be achieved by playing golf.
An Australian couple of mixed German-Chinese origin with their six-year old son Maximilian leave their settled life in Sydney to move to California. The boy's Mandarin name is Xiaolong, meaning Little Dragon, and the dream of his mother is that he will one day become the number one golf player in the world. She has contacted Tiger Woods' first professional coach who is supposed to take the boy under his wings, and she is determined to make her dream come true. At the end of the book, the mother's dream takes an unexpected twist.
The book follows Max's exposure to playing junior golf, the highlights and pitfalls along with the emotional ups and downs of children involved in competitive sport, and their parents' sometimes conflicting and contradictory expectations and experiences, culminating in an account of Max competing at the Junior Golf World Championship in San Diego.
But The Dragon Mother's Dream is not solely about golf. Part travelogue and part parenting memoir, the book is a journal that documents the everyday realities and idiosyncracies of the contemporary American way of life, as recorded by an Australian writer of European roots and - sometimes satirical, often ironic - sensibilities.