The youngest child of Hmong immigrants has severe epilepsy. Fadiman starts telling that story, then doubles back to tell the reader about the history of the Hmong people and their beliefs. Then she resolves Lia's story, tracing her passage through the medical and foster care systems. It's beautifully, comprehensively researched and told with clarity and fire, but it's also a very frustrating tale. Because while the intersection of two wildly different cultures is fascinating, the end result is that pretty much everybody involved was hurt by the collision.