Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter

Falling Leaves The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter Born in in a port city a thousand miles north of Shanghai Adeline Yen Mah was the youngest child of an affluent Chinese family who enjoyed rare privileges during a time of political and cultural
  • Title: Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter
  • Author: Adeline Yen Mah
  • ISBN: 9780767903578
  • Page: 199
  • Format: Paperback
  • Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter
    Born in 1937 in a port city a thousand miles north of Shanghai, Adeline Yen Mah was the youngest child of an affluent Chinese family who enjoyed rare privileges during a time of political and cultural upheaval But wealth and position could not shield Adeline from a childhood of appalling emotional abuse at the hands of a cruel and manipulative Eurasian stepmother DetermiBorn in 1937 in a port city a thousand miles north of Shanghai, Adeline Yen Mah was the youngest child of an affluent Chinese family who enjoyed rare privileges during a time of political and cultural upheaval But wealth and position could not shield Adeline from a childhood of appalling emotional abuse at the hands of a cruel and manipulative Eurasian stepmother Determined to survive through her enduring faith in family unity, Adeline struggled for independence as she moved from Hong Kong to England and eventually to the United States to become a physician and writer.A compelling, painful, and ultimately triumphant story of a girl s journey into adulthood, Adeline s story is a testament to the most basic of human needs acceptance, love, and understanding With a powerful voice that speaks of the harsh realities of growing up female in a family and society that kept girls in emotional chains, Falling Leaves is a work of heartfelt intimacy and a rare authentic portrait of twentieth century China.
    Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter By Adeline Yen Mah,
    • [PDF] Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter | by ↠ Adeline Yen Mah
      199 Adeline Yen Mah

    About " Adeline Yen Mah "

  • Adeline Yen Mah

    Adeline Yen Mah Chinese Yen Jun ling Pinyin M Y n J nl ng Yale Cantonese ma5 yim4 gwan1 ling4 official birthday 30th November 1937, however real birthday not known, this is in fact her father s birthday is a Chinese American author and physician 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, Susan Currently she divides her time between southern California and London She is married to Professor Robert Mah and has two children.

  • 341 Comments

  • I half liked this book I didn t like how Adeline made herself out to be this perfect little angel who gave to everyone and just kept getting shit on She was constantly a victim to everyone in her family, yet kept going back for abuse The things that happened to her as a child were sad and horrible, but I don t understand why you would ever purposely keep going back to a family who despised you as an adult when she wasn t dependent upon them I also found it strange that she longed for a deep mea [...]


  • The book was published in the height of the Chinese mania in America It was the time when the likes of Joy Luck Club and Wild Swan were bestsellers I thought it was another me too and never got to read it until now This is the summary of what I think The good her style of peppering the story with chinese proverbs characters, pronunciation, translation interesting peek of Shanghai in its glory straight from the person who lived that kind of life and engaging story telling.The bad a tad too whiny [...]


  • This book is a look at a culture, a country, a family and relationships that just didn t work for any of the children, especially for one young girl,Adeline Yen Mah She was born in 1937 and grew up in a wealthy Chinese family Her mother died when she was born and her new mother was Eurasian, with her own children.Her respect for and commitment and effort to be part of a family, presents an insight into the culture Her relationships with her siblings as a young girl, and later as a successful wom [...]


  • This is a bio with a particularly brutal twist It s not a pretty book It s a narrative of a viciously dysfunctional family For those who don t know Chinese culture, it s also a pretty authentic look at the old hierarchy of family relationships The nauseating insane character of Niang, a truly Machiavellian monster of a stepmother, pervades the story, deforming family life Adeline s innocent and understandably bewildered blundering through her early life is bad enough, but the story gets even tw [...]


  • This memoir of an unwanted Chinese daughter failed to fully gain my sympathy for its author Adeline Yen Mah was born in 1937 to a wealthy family in Tianjin Her mother died shortly thereafter and her father married a woman who would become Adeline s wicked stepmother When the family moved to Shanghai, Adeline was forced to endure the hideousness of her straight Chinese hair when she longed for a perm like the stylish westerns had She and her brothers were forced to walk nearly three miles to scho [...]


  • I really didn t like this book About 1 3 of the way through, I thought to myself, Why do I care about this person I even asked out loud a couple of nights later why I was reading the book To which my husband replied, Then don t read it But, not one to stop a book half way through, I continued on I hoped that eventually I would come to understand why I should care about the author At the end though, I still didn t Sure, she had a crap childhood For that, I give her pity Her step mother didn t lik [...]


  • In English we say An apple falls close to the tree meaning you are like your family In Shanghai they say The leaves fall close to the roots meaning you always go back to family, to your roots like it or not.Covering a sweeping range of China s immediate past, from the 1930s to today, this book is partly fascinating history of a period of enormous upheaval and change, partly telenovela of the Falcon Crest sort, as it tells the story of a wealthy family and the machinations of the wicked stepmothe [...]


  • This fabulous autobiography is both a Cinderella story and a view into 20th century Chinese life The author was born to a successful family in Shanghai, but had the bad luck to be the baby born just before her mother s death She was despised, not only by her siblings but by the woman that her father married She spent her young life trying to please her parents and trying to bring her family together It is a portrait of a very dysfunctional family My heart ached for Adeline at the numerous injust [...]


  • Falling leaves is the second book I read from Adeline Yan Mah, which is a connecting story to The Chinese Cinderella Since I read The Chinese Cinderella first so the Falling Leaves doesnt seem as interesting I got pretty bored at the beginning so I strongly recommend readers to read this book before the other The first half of the book discuesses how Adeline was teased by her siblings because after few days of her birth, her mother pass away Which her rich father got another wife that is half fr [...]


  • I couldn t put down this book, but it was utterly, utterly depressing I mentioned that to a friend, who glanced at it and said, Uh, did you see the subtitle What did you think it was going to be Touch The few moments of respite from wanting to cry were when Mah put in Chinese history for context, which worked well, was helpful, and as I said, let me breathe for a moment before I inevitably wanted to go back in time and adopt this poor creature.And that was the thing that got me at least twice in [...]


  • I don t like to be negative about stories like this hard childhoods As a book, it is okay Well written, some good descriptions The author is about the same age as my mother, and this gave a context for me She grew up as a miserable rich girl in Hong Kong Read it yourself if you want to.My negative point of view is that I find children who keep chasing their parents love and approval annoying This is nothing against Ms Yen Mah, she really survived a lot of rejection, lousy marriage, etc But I jus [...]


  • You know those books you can t put down This was one of em for me I was mesmerized by the cruelty the author was subjected to by her own family in this quite depressing account of a child s life, and somehow I still left with a positive impression She didn t slam her family or say anything hurtful about them which they MORE than deserved , she just presented her memories and the memories of her siblings as laid out facts This is what happened to me She s courageous than I would have been I was [...]


  • I was excited to read this book Now that I m finished, I m a little flummoxed as to my reaction So I review it through two different lenses Whenever I read memoirs, I look at them in terms of this is someone s life story, it s not going to fit a traditional book story narrative and then I do think of it in terms of a standard narrative Memoirs are a unique mix of these perspectives.First, as a memoir, it s excellent Her recall of detail, clearly aided by her siblings memory and supplemented with [...]


  • I picked this book out because I thought there could have been some connections I could have made with it, considering my heritage is also Chinese This book was however a book that didn t quite capture any essence of true culture It was of a narrative about how the protagonist s childhood was horrid and negative A majority of the book was insignificant and I didn t really understand why I was reading this book It didn t make a lot of sense to me It was a book that, in ways, asked for pity point [...]


  • couldn t even get half way through the only emotion that this account brought up was anger anger that such a whiny, spoilt child is still holding on to her mistreatment as a child while there is true abuse and neglect going on everyday that makes her inability to get tram fair oh no, she had to walk 3 miles to her private school while her classmates took their chauffered limos look pathetic she no doubt had an unhappy childhood and her stepmother clearly did not understand mothering, but this wa [...]


  • I read this book in 3 days I really admire the author s candor and honesty Her life story is heartbreaking at times and the history of Shanghai, Tianjin and Hong Kong were brought to life to me through her story Despite the cruelty she experienced, Adeline was always looking for acceptance and the best in other people For that alone, she is to be admired and yet others would admire her ability to have survived and succeeded in life academically and ultimately financially with so many obstacles t [...]


  • Ever wonder what it would be like to grow up as the unwanted daughter In Chinese culture, where people are ranked by sex, social status, and order of birth, the main character finds herself on the bottom of every measuring stick Learn how she overcomes feelings of worthlessness, abandonment, and rejection to triumph over a culture that tries to kill her spirit simply because she was born a girl, the unwanted daughter of her father s least favorite wife.


  • Wow Wow WOW I cried, I laughed like twice and I relived the injustices of being a small child albeit on a much smaller scale than the author Must read for anyone and everyone.


  • This book is by no means a feel good memoir in almost any sense, as the dominating character the author s stepmother is on a par with any evil character conjured in fables or by Disney Few of the supporting cast are of much redeeming value as well, from the successful but weak father who lets his new wife control and destroy his family, to the siblings who scheme, plot, and connive One aunt is a shining light of strong will and determination and kindness The children each react to oppression in [...]


  • Since memoir is my primary area of interest as a writer, and since Chinese culture history remains one of my favorite subjects, this book ought to have thrilled me a lot than it did.I like the way the story is structured, with the bereaved family gathering in the lawyer s office to hear the reading of their father s will, followed by all the years of earlier events leading up to that moment, a second pass at describing it with understanding, and then a few years in which the family essentiall [...]


  • I started with Chinese Cinderella and fell in love with Adeline and her resilience Falling Leaves is the adult version of the novel, and gives you an in depth explanation of everything To endure so much apathy from your own siblings, a stiff stepmother and greedy spineless father is so sad it s a wonder she didn t rebel against them in a destructive manner the same way teenagers do, today The novel is beautiful, heartbreaking, and engulfs you as if you are just a painting on the wall bearing wi [...]


  • I suppose I should say SPOILER ALERT since I mention some plot points ahead I enjoyed about 75% of this book after a while the haggling over her father s will and stepmother s will and the details of the never ending dramas with her siblings got a tiny bit tiresome Everyone is so abusive that you wonder why she keeps going back for , but, then, isn t that always the way It s easier to see when you re outside of the situation The most poignant part of the book to me is when her brother finally sa [...]


  • I wanted to like this book It was a page turner butMary Karr was right in her go to book about memoirs Never write a memoir to get revenge and this seems like this was exactly what it was, revenge What was this a history book A tell all A factual story of her life A book about obtaining her fathers will I couldn t tell I couldn t tell the how writers feelings reflected her abuse, or if it was just a random journal Some words and statements felt like a spew of hatred, others a longing of acceptan [...]


  • Let me be clear I don t like memoirs I read one by accident about two years ago, and I haven t been able to stop I enjoy reading about people from cultures other than my own and Mrs Mah is from a culture incredibly different, but one I am interested in I loved the way the story was told and I felt somewhat bad for Niang I wondered if she wasn t abused emotionally as a child herself, with the way she treated her stepchildren and then her own I wish we could have gotten a bit of Niang s side of th [...]


  • Spoiler Alert I never felt any connection or deep sympathy buildup with Adeline Yen Mah Apparently she did not have the best of chilhoods Her brothers teased and hit her and her stepmother did hit her once, but was she sexually molested, locked in closets, sold down the river Nooooo, she was well educated admittedly lonely , fed, clothed, and hospitalized when sick, sent abroad for education, all on her father s dime Then she has the nerve to say he didn t love her when she felt left out of the [...]


  • Depression caught up with me while reading this book I was already touched by its condensed version Chinese Cinderella and reading this book felt like rubbing in the touchy feeling even My heart goes to Aunt Baba who survived being a spinster, a worker in a male dominated labor force, and a victim of war It s amazing how a person endures, and live through life amid utmost cruelty.


  • Adeline Yen Mah s memoir is interesting from several vantage points spanning her childhood in china, young adulthood in England and the remainder of her life in California, her story is one that lends great context to the pre world war 2 china and it s transition to communism following the revolution But her story is really about yearning for love and acceptance in an extremely difficult family and ultimately the will to survive and triumph.


  • I was surprised I enjoyed this book as much as I did It was a good story about personal resilience It also highlighted how powerful the need to be loved and accepted is I also enjoyed learning about Chinese culture and history The author did a good job keeping it relevant to the story.



  • Such a sad book I can t believe how someone can have this much of hatred towards a child to torture her, physically and emotionally so If you haven t read this yet, I implore you to do so This book deserve five stars and nothing less.


  • Post Your Comment Here

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *