Ellens tells a story of living with one foot in the 19th century and the other in the 21st century. It is a story of a family's introduction and adaptation to a world so different from their life in Michigan that every day seemed like a new adventure. The book, like a travelogue, describes what every visitor to India is sure to see, perhaps with wide eyes and unbridled curiosity, and often take the reader to spots off the beaten trail. But it goes deeper than that, bringing to life the expatriate experienced as a family with four school-age children who spends two years becoming part of a culture different from their own, and discovers the ways in which this experience enriches their lives.
Interspersed with this travelogue by Dan Ellens, are sections about the history of the country and its rich cultural underpinnings, written by Lakshmi Srinivas, who was born and raised in India. The 2nd edition provides a timeless addition to the book with a story of change. Since 1998, Ellens has returned to India more than 80 times, watching, with an outsider's view, the country transforms in ways that seemed impossible not so long ago. The 2nd edition tells the rest of the story.