Chinese Cinderella: The Secret Story of an Unwanted Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah – Book Review


Adeline Yen Mah’s mother died giving birth to her in China in 1937 and from then, her older siblings considered her to be bad luck. Her father remarried a woman who disliked and treated all of his previous children badly, and none more than Adeline. The children fought for their own place in the world, and Adeline always had the worst of it, despite the love of her aunt and grandfather. This is her story.

As I read it, I felt it was quite a basic telling of the story. It told of some quite horrible events in the life of this poor, unhappy child, however it seemed quite lightweight. It was only later that I realised that this is the version of the author’s story that has specifically been written for younger readers – I’m thinking early teens, probably, or perhaps a bit younger. Adeline Yen Mah has also written an adult version called Falling Leaves, and I am now interested in reading this. I think this is an excellent account for a young reader, but I want more.

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