“Chinese Cinderella” is Adeline Yen Mah’s story, you get a true insight of what her weekday was composed of. You follow her from when she started kindergarten until she began at an English boarding school. Adeline wrote this book in her late 50s, after her stepmothers’ death, in 1990.
When I first read Chinese Cinderella, I was touched. This book went directly to my heart. All her ups and downs really moved me. Adeline describes her feelings so well, you understands her sorrows and confusion. How a child can be so discriminated by her own father, stepmother and siblings, is not comprehensible.
Her father ignored her: He cut her dead. Her siblings always nagged on her, even though she looked up to them, as though they were heroes. When I write “nagged” I don’t mean in the way siblings usually do, but in the way that she always was the victim of being bullied.
Adelines mother died giving birth to her. So she was considered bad luck. Her family blamed her, for her mother’s death.
“Now give me your date of birth” “I’m afraid I don’t know, Father”
“Let’s see now, how old are you?” “I’m ten Father.”
“Ten years! How times flies! How would you like sharing my birthday?”
“Yes, please, Father!” How wonderful, sharing the same birthday as my father! I was thrilled!
By reading the sentences above, you get a little glimpse of how little she really meant for her family. In China they’re very good at celebrations. And birthdays are a good excuse to celebrate. The text I quoted in the assignment was one of those conversations that staid left.
You can tell so much out of it, her suppression, and lack of attention. But also, her fathers suddenly embarrassment of not knowing his daughter’s birth date, and then trying to cover it by sharing his own, with her.
I think the reason she wrote this book, wasn’t because she wanted people to pity her, on the contrary! But to open people’s eyes, so that they can see how a normal family (from the outside) can be on the inside. Girls in China have always been seen by the society as inferiors. When you marry off a girl, then you don’t get a new son, but you give away a daughter. The dowry is usually big, and that doesn’t make the case any better. I think she wanted views like this to become known.
This book’s target group is for people from fifteen and up maybe especially girls, because it is easier to take place in each situation. But though, I shouldn’t underestimate boys.
Personally, I will also read “Falling Leaves” which is her autobiography that describes her life from she was fifteen until today, written by Adeline Yen Mah. (Of course)