Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter
Born in 1937 in a port city a thousand miles north of Shanghai, Adeline Yen Mah was the youngest child of an affluent Chinese family who enjoyed rare privileges during a time of political and cultural upheaval. But wealth and position could not shield Adeline from a childhood of appalling... show more
Born in 1937 in a port city a thousand miles north of Shanghai, Adeline Yen Mah was the youngest child of an affluent Chinese family who enjoyed rare privileges during a time of political and cultural upheaval. But wealth and position could not shield Adeline from a childhood of appalling emotional abuse at the hands of a cruel and manipulative Eurasian stepmother. Determined to survive through her enduring faith in family unity, Adeline struggled for independence as she moved from Hong Kong to England and eventually to the United States to become a physician and writer.A compelling, painful, and ultimately triumphant story of a girl's journey into adulthood, Adeline's story is a testament to the most basic of human needs: acceptance, love, and understanding. With a powerful voice that speaks of the harsh realities of growing up female in a family and society that kept girls in emotional chains, Falling Leaves is a work of heartfelt intimacy and a rare authentic portrait of twentieth-century China.
Publish date: April 6th 1999
Publisher: Broadway Books
Pages no: 280
Edition language: English
, Book Club
, Asian Literature
, Biography Memoir
I liked this book a whole lot more until the last fifty-or-so pages. At that point, it devolved into a laundry list of perceived slights, petty bickering, and old grudges. The narrator, Adeline, went from being winningly naive about her family to being determinedly oblivious, to the point that it ma...
This book was heartbreaking and fascinating at the same time. It was interesting to see the depths of Chinese culture against women, but then to see it in one family's case.
Well, this is definitely a pretty depressing and accurate story about how women can be treated in China. The writing is so well done. I can see every single scene. I feel only sorrow after reading this book. It is a Chinese book so of course there are no happily ever afters.