14 February 2012
A Girl Called "Genius"
Adeline Yen Mah captures the story of her youth in the novel Chinese Cinderella. Adeline’s childhood was filled with rejection by her family, but in school she found a place of refuge and people who would respect her. The abuse she has received from her family caused her pain every day, but it also helped her to learn how to rely on herself. This novel is about a young girl named Adeline, mistreated through her childhood by her whole family, except her dear Aunt Baba, who raised her, and her grandfather, who she called Ye Ye. Soon after Adeline was born, her mother died a tragic death. Her siblings considered her bad luck and remained disloyal to her, even when their father remarried a wicked woman. This story takes place in the cities of Shanghai and Hong Kong, during the 1940s. Adeline is the fifth child in her family. From a very young age, her siblings were convinced that Adeline was the cause of their mother's death. The oldest in Adeline's family, her big sister Lydia, selfishly mistreated her young sister and told her, "If you had not been born, Mama would still be alive. She died because of you. You are bad luck." "They blamed me for causing Mama's death and never forgave me," Adeline says about all four of her older siblings. They were bitter toward her and it made her feel like an outcast in her own home. From Adeline's first days at school, she was successful in all the work she did. Her first week she earned a medal for being at the top of her class, and she received an award for earning the medal more weeks than anyone else. When her father noticed her metal he praised her and it "was the first time anyone could remember him singling me (Adeline) out or saying anything to me (Adeline)." She strived for learning more and more just for a bit more of her father's attention. Though Adeline's father rarely even spoke to her, the fact that...
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