Book Review : Falling Leaves: The True Story of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah


Product Details
Born in 1937 in a port city 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 her Eurasian stepmother. Determined to survive, 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.

I could imagine a sad, melancholic melody playing while I was reading this book. It made me cry more than once, and I was so heartbroken for this poor girl who was blamed for her mother's death right from the very beginning of her life.

Her life was quite miserable even though she was born into a rich, prominent family, for she was unloved by most of her family members. The only person who understood her and loved her with all his heart was her grandfather. When her father married a gorgeous Eurasian lady, her worst nightmares came true. She was abused in many ways, and all along, her father chose to shut his eyes and ignore his daughter's condition. For her, this was even hurting than the suffering caused by her stepmother.

She wanted to be set free from the iron manacles of her twisted family, so she studied really hard. She swallowed her pains and converted them into motivational forces to push herself towards success. She proved that she, too, could find happiness in life even though she did not start out well.

Adeline Yen Mah's gripping account of her childhood life serves to inspire many unfortunate people to never give up, because as long as we do not give up, there is always hope. This book is a must-read. I highly recommend it to everyone.

Rating: 5
Adeline Yen Mah is a Chinese American author and physician. She grew up in Tianjin, Shanghai and Hong Kong with an older sister, Lydia (Jun-pei); three older brothers, Gregory (Zi-jie), Edgar (Zi-lin) and James (Zi-jun); and a younger half brother, Franklin and half sister, Susan (Jun-qing). She has stated in her book Falling Leaves that she has not used the real names of her siblings and their spouses in order to protect their identities; however, she used the real names of her father, stepmother, aunt and husband. Currently she divides her time between southern California and London. She is married to Professor Robert Mah and has two children including one from a previous marriage.

1 creative remarks:

Diana said...

Great review! Book sounds fantastic. Adeline Yen Mah seem very interesting character. Thank you for sharing this book, I hadn't hear for it before.