Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah

falling leavesFalling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter is a true story of an unwanted Chinese daughter (as per title ;). The family is one of the richest in Hong Kong, who migrated from mainland China.

I have to give this book a 4 stars, just because of the extra ordinary journey that the author has gone through as written in this book. The writing style though, is more like a report, rarely emotional or dramatic. A lot of scenes are sad and devastating, but she moves on quick instead of dwelling with bitterness. After all, there’s so much to tell and there are only so many pages. I feel like she’s laying out facts and not judgment.

The book is also informative. Notes on history are written along with the main story here and there. I now know the background of why so many people migrated from mainland China to Hong Kong, the story of how Hong Kong advanced so much it became the Pearl of the East, and why the people of China looks at Hong Kong people like they’re the selected top class.

Like to all the evils and wicked in a story, the main question is always “WHY”? Why was the step-mother able to do such things? Why was the father so useless? You’d have more WHYs as you read. Why the brothers? The sister? Grandfather? Auntie? Why? Human beings are crazily complex.

Anyway, if you see the cover I have here, they’re all real pictures of the characters in the book (all deceased). First is Aunt Baba (Father’s sister), second Yeye (Grandfather), third Niang (Stepmother), and the last I assume is Father. (Information taken from author’s website) On the back cover there’s family photo of the kids (young Adeline with her 1 older sister, 3 older brothers, 1 younger half-brother, and 1 younger half-sister).

Nice read, but be prepared to spend a lot of time. The book is THICK, the story is LONG! I probably spent about a month to finish it. Yeah I know.. I’m slow.

~ Finished on 05 February 2007

4 stars

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