A Chinese proverb says, “Falling leaves return to their roots.” In Chinese Cinderella, Adeline Yen Mah returns to her roots to tell the story of her painful childhood and her ultimate triumph and courage in the face of despair. Adeline’s affluent, powerful family considers her bad luck after her mother dies giving birth to her. Life does not get any easier when her father remarries. She and her siblings are subjected to the disdain of her stepmother, while her stepbrother and stepsister are spoiled. Although Adeline wins prizes at school, they are not enough to compensate for what she really yearns for — the love and understanding of her family.
Following the success of the critically acclaimed adult bestseller Falling Leaves, this memoir is a moving telling of the classic Cinderella story, with Adeline Yen Mah providing her own courageous voice.
I found this book on our shelves one night, while I was searching for a book for my brother. I’d never read it before, and it looked interesting. So I brought it down to my room and read it.
The book is called Chinese Cinderella, and that is a very good title for it. The trials and tribulations that Wu Mei (Adeline) goes through are very much like Cinderella’s.
Her step-mother doesn’t like her, her father pretty much ignores her, and none of her siblings are nice to her. Her half-siblings are spoiled, while she gets lost finding her way back from school and no one notices.
When she goes to boarding school, things get a little bit better, but not much. She never gets visitors, egg money, or new clothes, and people look down on her.
But, as always, Cinderella has a happy ending. Adeline wins an international writing contest, winning her father’s approval long enough for her to get permission to go to a collage in England, like her brothers.
The story was very gripping – it kept me hooked till the very end. I hated having to put it down, not knowing whether Adeline was going to make it out of there or not.
I didn’t know that Adeline had written other books – I’m going to have to check them out! They look really interesting.
The Verdict: 4 of 5 Stars
This was a great book that made me want to learn more about Adeline and really, more about that time period in China.