Kwesi 章英狮's Reviews > Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter

Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah
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's review
Nov 22, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: owned, adeline-yen-mah, 2011
Read from August 06 to 08, 2011

Every country and every people that resides have different culture and have different story to tell. From the most depressing experience of their lives from most unforgettable moments they felt in their childhood. But how can they manage to express and treasure those experiences forever? Some people write them on their journals or diaries, some record it through tapes and CDs, some tell their past lives from their grandsons and few write and compile their stories into a book.

Adeline Yen Mah's short biography, exploring her childhood experiences, meant to be read and inspired other readers. She wrote this book for teens and young kids to express her desire and sadness in the past while living with her stepmother, living without desire, loosing hopes and dreams and losing her rights as a child of his father.

She was born rich and born bad luck because of her mother's death, nobody desires to enter her life even her siblings except her aunt. Adeline struggles to grow when the days past. They are awfully sad and very painful for the readers. She was not welcome to the household as she carries bad luck, she find friends and a place where she belong, a place where only happiness can be found, the school.

Her lives possessed with desires to achieve the top just to be recognized by her father. Her father, who only believed to fiction stories that her 2nd wife told, not believing that he already forgotten her first wife's children. As Adeline struggle to the top and gaining freedom in the end, she manages to show her success by education and share her success through books.

She graduated in London Hospital Medical School in Europe with the help of a miracle, a winning piece that change her life forever. After a very long journey she practiced her course in California and become a teacher and author, and helping children in China to go to school and to make their wishes come true.

This thin book is very emotionally uncontrollable; she wrote most of her depressing stories from the first chapter until the end and few not-quite-happy memories. This biography is not suitable for those people who have heart and eye problems; I suggest that you have to skip reading this book not to mention that this had a serious problem to childhood experiences.

I live with a group of Chinese kids when I was young and agree that Chinese parents, teachers and other professionals are very strict with their children that I can't believe that Adeline have this gap and heart breaking experience with her parents. Although this is normal for a child, but this change my perspective towards other traditions and beliefs of Chinese people.

This book is not as good as any biography book I read, but this book is very inspiring and consider that she implement education as a tool to succeed in life and trying to emphasize that expectation is not only give negative results but also positive. One thing that I observe from the book is that, she needed more attention to her parents and siblings. I'm not a psychologist but I think a child must grow needed high attention of the parents. At least, she succeeds in the end.

I recommend this to all half Chinese kids, teens and adults who have the same experience with Adeline or readers that are curious to Chinese tradition. This black book is full of sad memories, so fragile that every reader wanted to keep it forever even the sadness keep on pouring inside the book. Adeline, you are a true beauty of success and you make Cinderella go gaga.

most complicated fairy tail ever written was Cinderella, nobody had the idea who the hell first wrote it. Is it the Egyptians, Russians or Chinese? Anyway, at least the gore picture tells the other side of Cinderella, why she have small feet that only the glass slippers (originally a fur) fits to her.

Review posted on Old-Fashioned Reader .

Rating: Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah, 4 Sweets

Book #216 for 2011
Book #127 for Off the Shelf!
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04/22/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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Emily May Excellent review!

Kwesi 章英狮 Thanks Emily!

message 3: by Wendy Darling (new)

Wendy Darling Great review, Kwesi. I read one of the author's previous books awhile back and had a hard time connecting with it, but it sounds like this one is much more relateable/interesting.

message 4: by Rollie (new)

Rollie Is there somehow a Philippine Cinderella?

message 5: by Apokripos (new)

Apokripos Double R wrote: "Is there somehow a Philippine Cinderella?"

I think there is. And what do you know, it might be you. XP

message 6: by Kwesi 章英狮 (last edited Aug 09, 2011 11:48PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kwesi 章英狮 @Rollie and Jzhun: Sarcastic joke. Anyway, I think there is, if I'm not mistaken. Read the compilation of short folklore published by Anvil. The cover had this colorful fairy in a flower. Anyway, I do not like to buy one since I'm overly satisfied with the folklore I heard when I was young. Haha.

@Wendy: I also have problem reading this book. It has a slow paced story and the story was so boring, consider the part that she write most of her sad memories and few, ugh, good memories. Anyway, overall this is a good inspirational book for everyone.

message 7: by Rollie (new)

Rollie I really want to stab Jzhun with a sharp sword! Haha.

God Kwesi, there is no need for you to read any folklore if that's the case! :D

Kwesi 章英狮 @Rollie: Of course not and I mentioned it on my message above. Haha.

message 9: by Petra Eggs (new)

Petra Eggs I've never actually seen a pic of a foot that has been bound before. The deformity is shocking, so unbelievably cruel.

Kwesi 章英狮 @Petra: And don't forget that woman in china (that had been bound) have to suffer arthritis in their entire life. Aw.

message 11: by Moses (new) - added it

Moses Arinaitwe Every nation has victims of upbringing. The review helps bring out these by wondering whether this is the case in other countries. There are similar stories if not worse in my country.

Elisabeth Campbell To whoever don't understand human compassion, you are sad enough in your life, I guess when you don't have, you can't give. I am sorry for you.
I like the book, I read it in 2 days, I completely agreed that nothing is more important than feeling being loved by your own family as a child, everybody and every family struggle on different things at different times, but the most devastating knowledge can ever being delivered to any child is that "your own family do not love you, because you are worthless and less than human being!"
I grew up in Chinese culture, back in 1940', life was hard for most of the population, even harder during the culture revolution in 1960' to 1970', the whole country was in the mode I would say rather moving backwards than moving forward.
Adeline was born in a family that she didn't belong to, though she had her grandfather and aunt looked after her the best way they could, but inside Adeline's heart, the hole of not being loved by her own parents and siblings was unimaginable enormous and painful that only someone had gone through similar experience could possibly grasped and understood.
I'm glad Dr. Mah had an opportunity to write this book and heal her lifelong wound!
I hope that we all cherish the love we get from others and being able to reciprocate.

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