Chinese Cinderella (A Puffin Book)
About this deal
The gift offered by young Adeline can be seen as a means to highlight this distinction; while Aunt Baba and Ye Ye earned a level of loyalty, Victor deserved a higher distinction.
Chinese Cinderella is the true memoir of Adeline Yen Mah’s childhood, describing her life up until she is fourteen years old. This is followed by a monologue on how the pictographic aspect of Chinese characters can help tell a story in ways that the Western alphabet cannot, reflecting the message of the author’s foundation which aims to teach youth of Chinese heritage their language. Yen Mah left for the United Kingdom in August 1952, and studied medicine at the London Hospital Medical School, eventually establishing a medical practice in California.As the festival to celebrate the coming of the New Year arrives, Ye Xian is left alone in her cave home as her stepmother fears Ye Xian's beauty is still capable of outshining Jun-li. The importance of this scene is that the shift of power strongly hampers the future of Adeline within the household, especially after the fiasco with Little Sister and Aunt Baba. The story ends as one would expect: despite all odds, Ye Xian makes her way to the location where the slipper is kept - on display in a pavilion - convinces the king that it is her shoe, and tells him the circumstances of her life.
The belief that women were vastly inferior to males allowed for the ill treatment of daughters and the propagation of arranged marriages, creating an imbalance that would make it difficult for young girls like Adeline to succeed. Though China was the most dominant nation in Asia until the mid-1800s, Britain’s defeat of China in the Opium War in 1842 put an end to their reign. Adeline records her entire childhood, through several schools and houses, through the people she meets and one very special duckling pet – Precious Little Treasure (or PLT for short) that she cares for.
She grew up in Tianjin, Shanghai and Hong Kong with an older sister, Lydia; three older brothers, Gregory, Edgar and James and a younger half brother, Franklin and half sister Similar memoirs written by Chinese women in this era include Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang and Snow Falling in Spring by Moying Li, both of which are coming-of-age tales set during the rise of Mao Zedong.
Ye Xian's only relief comes from her acquaintance with a very large and very chatty fish living in the river near Ye Xian's home. The cruelest of all Adeline's brothers, Second Brother often goes out of his way to make life miserable for Adeline.Aunt Baba sees her wound and tries to cheer Adeline up with the contents of the safe deposit box, at the same trying to prevent any waves to be kicked up. Despite her horrid life at home, Adeline excels in school and has many good friends there, the best of whom is Wu Chun-mei. After all the misfortune that has befallen this young girl in her eleven years of life would lead one to believe that something had to break right.