A retelling of the life of author and physician Adeline Yen Mah, Chinese Cinderella was well written and brutally honest, with plenty of intrigue in between.
But it was sad.
Adeline was mistreated as a child, told that she was "bad luck" because her mother had died shortly after her birth. For the most part despised by her sister, brothers, father, and stepmother, she lived a lonely life, only loved by her aunt, grandparents, and playmates at school, playmates unaware of her unfortunate home life.
Chinese Cinderella follows the early years of Adeline's life, during which she is transported from school to school, loved ones are snatched away from her, and the Communists invade China.
I was anticipating a happy ending, hopeful for Adeline to find her Prince Charming, or an escape from her family. And while the ending was rather satisfactory, it was still a depressing story. Because of this, I'd recommend Chinese Cinderella to an older audience, perhaps fourteen- or fifteen-year-olds and up.
You may want to know: There are several cases in which adults are verbally unkind to and severely beat children, as well in others in which children bully one another and animals are cruelly mistreated. There is also mention of and reference to warfare.
Have you ever read Chinese Cinderella? What are your thoughts on it?