It’s the simple words used to describe such a hard life that got to me. I don’t think i made it through halfway till the end of reading this book without sniffling or wiping my eyes.
I was sad, but the feeling was not like the typical sadness that usually overwhelms me when reading tales like this; it was laced with this burning anger and hatred towards Adeline’s family members who treated her so unfairly. The cruel stepmother who thinks she and her children are the kings and queens of the family, who tries to make Adeline’s life as miserable as she can at every chance that she got; the father who is more concerned with having good image and bows to his young wife’s every whim, neglecting his own children as the result; the manipulative elder sister who despises Adeline for being smart and is always ready to switch sides whenever it will benefit her; the two elder brothers who pull numerous pranks on her because they hate her for being born and caused their mother to die when giving birth to her. Adeline lived a very lonely and depressing life. She only got her grandfather and an unmarried aunt to care for her, which they had to do in secret with the stepmother always looking for reasons to punish Adeline.
For me,the most poignant moment from the book is when the father forgot Adeline’s Chinese name and confessed he didn’t even know her birth date. She matters so little to him. But all of these bad things didn’t break Adeline and knocked her down. She kept studying and moved forward with her life. She didn’t grow bitter. Her strength and her reluctance to be defeated by life is the main drive to keep me reading the book through.
This book is a must read for everybody, especially those of Chinese descent like me. You will find a lot of things in her stories that will resonate with your life and culture upbringing.
5 out of 5.