Chinese Cinderella Book Review

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Chinese Cinderella, by Adeline Yen Mah. The secret story of an unwanted daughter. The story, set in 1941, during the time of the civil war between colonists and nationalists has all the constituents needed to make a good Cinderella story; a girl suffering with inequality within her family, a dead mother, horrid stepmother, careless father & hateful siblings. By now you would have had enough of all the different alterations of the classic Cinderella story, from the jealous siblings to the lost shoe and a happy ending. However what makes this book so matchless and one of my favourite reads is the fact that this isn’t just a made up fairy tale. Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah (Yen Jun-ling) is a memorable even emotional autobiography of how she, from merely two weeks after her birth, was emotionally abused and alienated by her father, siblings and worst of all by her step mother after her mother dies due to birth complications in addition to a fever. Adeline grows learning that she was the cause of her mother’s death, an extremely large burden for such a little girl to carry on her own. “It all stems from our mama dying when you were born. Big Sister and out two older brothers knew her better than I did, I only remember her a little. Things were much nicer when she was alive. You made her go away.” – Third Brother. With her father remarrying at Adeline’s age of 1 to a 17 year old ‘Eurasian Beauty’ Niang, is a whole other component to her already unlucky life. Adeline (5th sister) and her four older siblings wore out-dated clothes, sported traditional hairstyles and ate cheap food. All the while Niang’s two new additions to the family (Fourth Brother and Little Sister) were always wearing the latest western outfits and treated with endless luxuries. The original five were treated so unfairly according to Niang’s wishes, they were not even permitted any tram fares whatsoever, as they endured their long walks to school even on the rainiest of days. No one ever...
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