Posted: Monday, November 12, 2012 7:35:17 AM
Just like every other teenager on this planet, I’ve always felt like my parents never understood me. Everything they did seemed irrational or unnecessary, and often times I never took their words to heart. However, after I read Adeline Yen Mah’s interestingly titled book, Chinese Cinderella, I was horrified to discover how humane my parents are compared to many others of a similar ethnical background. Basing the book on her personal experiences, Mah tells the story of the abuse she had to endure as a child, and the determination it took to overcome them.
In her novel, Mah recounts the details of her youth. Instead of being brought up in a loving environment, Mah was subject to emotional and physical abuse by her stepmother, father, and three brothers. Her biological mother died shortly after Mah’s birth, and despite the fact that her father remarried the women Mah calls Niang soon after, the woman did not even attempt to fulfill the role of a mother. Because of her parents’ neglect, Mah’s only source of comfort is her Aunt and grandfather, whom she separates from after being forced to move to a different province in China. Even with all these obstacles, Mah continues to work hard and enjoy her passion for writing, which results in her being the top of her classes.
Personally, Chinese Cinderella was an easy novel for me to relate to. Just like Adeline, my own parents had high expectations for me as I was growing up. Although there was never abuse of any kind, my parents never realized that it’s impossible for me to be perfect without giving up parts of myself that were important. Adeline, however, was able to exceed her parent’s expectations even though they treated her as though she was a useless animal, while still working towards her dream of becoming a professional writer. In that aspect, she is a hero and a great role model to me, making Chinese Cinderella one of the most inspiring books I’ve ever read.