Monday, January 05, 2004

chinese cinderella

just finished reading chinese cinderella: the secret story of an unwanted daughter by adeline yen mah. picked it up from the coffee table while at a friend's place last night, and recalled seeing an earlier book by the same author which i had meant to get a hold of and read but never got around to doing. so i'm kind of starting out of order, but that doesn't really matter (and in any case this is in some sense the prequel to her first book falling leaves). there is a sense of accomplishment from finishing off a book - too often i start and don't finish. i was almost half way through by the time i left thier house, so i asked to borrow it and resolved to finish it today (strike while the iron's hot, so they say :p).

and wow... it is a touching and sad, but also inspiring and triumphant tale. read it for yourself - it really doesn't take that long. the friend who bought the book read it in one hour; i took a tad longer :p check out the website which also tells you more about the author and some of her other works.

takes me back a fair few years to a period in my life when i read a number of books of similar genre and heritage (amy tan's the joy luck club, the kitchen god's wife, and the hundred secret senses; jung chang's wild swans, and i'm certain there was at least one other whose title and author elude me). there's something about these stories - the characters, the culture, the history in which they are steeped - that somehow resonates with whatever little china there is in me. my ancestry is chinese, but i wasn't born in china nor have i ever been to see any part of china. still, there's *some* chinese in my blood and being... i think! ;)

now i'm motivated to track down some other adeline yen mah titles from my local library :)

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