Friday, October 10, 2008

Chinese Cinderella

I have not been able to sit down and read books like I was able to back in the days when I was still a young and happy English undergrad. In Malaysia, you can find good books definitely...OCCASIONALLY. The public library here in Miri SUCKS! The books that I read back in high school are all still on the SAME rack and there seems to be only 10 books added to the collections. Fortunately, as a high school teacher, I can have access to all the books in the small school library, which has more nice books than the public lib. When I brought my students to the library, I took the advantage to browse through the shelves of English, Malay, and chinese books. Most of the books are young adult books, which are not really my fav. But I do find a lot of classics such as Dickens, Steinback, Shakespeare, and so on. Oh...I forgot to mention, one good thing about being a teacher is that you can borrow limitless books and can return the books whenever you want...even a year later. When I first learnt this, I couldn;t help laughing my evil laugh for maybe...1 minute.

Anyways, I found this wonderful book called "Chinese Cinderella" by Adeline Yen-Mah and read it in a day. This book is like a family history and autobiography of the author who lived a pretty rough childhood in many places of China, including Hong Kong. The subtitle of the book is The Secret Story of an Unwanted Daughter. I found myself sobbing bitter tears after I finished the book. I think I love books that make me cry. There aren't many inspiring quotes that make you want to copy it down and paste on your facebook "Favorite Quote" column, but just normal sentences that tells you a family history.

This book has...
Chinese people and culture--check!
A young girl as the main character--check!
A young girl who is smart but is in a terrible family--check!
A young girl with a pet--check!
Terrible villain in the form of parents--check!
A good, wise old man who is as helpless and the granddaughter--check!
Good friends--check!
Nuns and western religion--check!
A stepmother who is "BADDER" than the stepmom in Cinderella--check!
A turn of fortune for the young girl--check!
Heart-wrenching scenes--check!
Arouse feeling of abhorrence for the villain in the form of adults--check!
A happy ending for happy ending sucker--check!

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