Against the background of Chinese history, Adeline Yen Mah tells the story of her own, more personal struggle - her grim, gruesome childhood. Born to a wealthy family in pre-revolution China, Adeline was the unwanted daughter, the child that "killed her mother" (in reality, poor post-natal hygiene killed her mother). Her situation became intolerably worse when her father married a second time, to the beautiful, cruel Niang, whose primary interest in life appears to have been manipulation and emotional abuse. Although the story is depressing in parts, infuriating in others, it ends well - with a happy marriage and a new life in America for Adeline. And that's its saving grace - the book isn't just the story of a wretched childhood, its the story of overcoming one.
This report prepared by Ivy