Rebecca's Reviews > Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter

Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah
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's review
Jan 18, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: 2009, historical, memoir, non-fiction, wbc-09
Read in January, 2009

The beginning of this book was great, short interesting chapters. However as the book went on the writing often became poor (and I'm not one to usually pick on these things) and whinny. I have read many memoirs where there has been hardships and abuse but it usually came accross as a poor me. This may have been intentional at times because towards the back of the book the acknowledgement that many of us struggle for our parents affection and approval even in our adult lives.

My favourite characters were Great Aunt, Aunt Baba and YeYe. I became to see and appreciate Susans strengths as the story evolved. The use of chinese proverbs as the chapter headings and introduced at key times during the book highlighted my interest in the history of these terms.

Having travelled to these parts of China and Hong Kong it was good to be able to visualise the streets, acknowledge the change that seems to have gone full circle over time and the books relevance in history. This is to me what made the book not the details of the story behind it.

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Quotes Rebecca Liked

Adeline Yen Mah
“She was bedridden falling a fall which broke her hip. X-rays showed that she had cancer of the colon which had already spreed. To my surprise I found her cheerful and free of pain, perhaps because of the small doses of morphine she was being given. She was surrounded by neighbours and friends who congregated at her bedside day and night. In this cosy, noisy, gregarious world of the "all-chinese" sickbed, so different from the stark, sterile solitude of the American hospital room, her life had assumed the astounding quality of a continuous farewell party.”
Adeline Yen Mah, Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter

Reading Progress

01/19/2009 page 18
6.43% "Nice short chapters. Its amazing how similar Chinese culture was to western and then how dissimilar at times"
01/21/2009 page 135
48.21% "Not great, not bad. Some really engrossing sections and others that just seem so disjointed."
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