Credit: AmazonChinese Cinderella isn't really about a fairy tale nor a romantic story. It is actually a memoir of Chinese-American writer and physician named Adeline Yen Mah. What led me to read the book is my genuine interest about Chinese life and culture, as it was shown in the book cover that the story dealt with an unwanted Chinese daughter.
Adeline was born in Tianjin, China in the tumultuous year of 1937 to a wealthy family. It was around the time when Japan had already conquered Manchuria, and the northern cities of China were constantly under the threats of war. The birth of Adeline led to her mother's death, causing a deep resentment from her father and siblings. She was viewed as a harbinger of bad luck, and her female gender made things worse. She was treated badly because of these factors.
To make matters a lot worse, she also had a stepmother who hated her. Her status in the family was among the lowest of the lowest. Her half-siblings were favored more than the children from her father's first wife. Her full siblings were treated better than herself. Although rich, she was discouraged to live luxuriously. She was never given an allowance by her parents and was forbidden to go to her friends' house nor was she allowed to bring friends at home.
While I was reading the book, I felt like I was taken back into the past several decades ago and that I was in the author's shoes. I could feel her pain while she recounted her childhood. It certainly took Adeline a lot of courage to write her painful past.
As I got to know her more, I also grew to admire her even more. Even in her younger years, she already displayed an admirable character that conveyed her strength, loyalty, and kindness. Despite experiencing little love at home, she managed to compensate by excelling in her academics. Her story can be a great source of inspiration to anyone. It showed us that everyone can be special; everyone has worth.
Despite reading the entire book for only two nights, the impact of its message remains fresh in my memory. I highly recommend it to both young and old readers.
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(price as of May 7, 2015)