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Yen Mah, Adeline. Falling Leaves. New York, New York., 1997

Adeline Yen Mah, the author of the book, Falling Leaves reveals her heart-wrenching story of her past. Adeline was born in an unlucky family where she was the family’s scapegoat. She was called “Mnn Mui” which meant Fifth sister and was also the burden of her mother’s death. Adeline seemed to be like Cinderella in the story Cinderella where she was like a protagonist triumphing over hardships. The hardships she had to gone through when she was young, were her siblings picked on her, her stepmother abused her and her father never cared about her. Ever since Adeline was a child, all she wanted was attention yet no one cared. When she was lost for a long time and returned home, no one even knew she was lost and only blamed her for being late.When doing experiments, they would always use Adeline’s things to be the scapegoats, just liked Adeline’s beloved duckling that died as a result. When leaving their home place, her stepmother disliked her for always being so ignorant and useless that she made her live alone in a nun school. Spending years of loneliness, Adeline always had to cope with herself. So she tried to do her best in her studies achieved the highest in the class. One time when composing literature, she had won the best literature in the town that it made her father finally noticed that she was his daughter who was giving him face and becoming known with her academics. This was how her father started to care for her a bit more by sending her off to good schools.She came back with good acknowledgements and was going to accomplish her dreams yet but to please her father she did what he wanted her to do so she set them aside. So doing jobs her father assigned her to do, she was of course not as happy yet knowing she had some recognition with her father it didn’t really matter. Later on she married a man named Byron and had a son Roger, hoping it would lead to a successful Cinderella ending yet it was worse than she thought. Her husband kept drifting their relationships away, which caused a divorce later on. With their divorce Adeline had to live a hard life with her son Roger but it was soon another miracle when she met another man Bob who loved her dearly.As years go by, Adeline’s father’s health was getting worse and later on died. With his death, his belongings would be spread out through his children. Adeline who thought she had gained some recognition with her father expected something yet it turned out to be nothing. It had seemed like her siblings had changed his will. Leaving her undetermined, she wanted to find out the truth why her father would be so cruel. Did he never forgive her for the burden of his wife? In the end, she found the real will where she was acknowledged with one part of the will, she was so happy with the truth that not receiving the will was fine but knowing her father had noticed and loved her as his daughter was all she needed.Adeline in this story Falling Leaves was considered as a round character where she portrayed herself as a lonely and depressed little girl and ended up as a happy and successful woman with a happy family. Adeline had to handle with herself and her family members during the book. She had strived a depressing childhood with an abusive stepmother who never gave her encouragements but always discriminated her. Her father had always thought she was the reason why his beloved wife died so he never cared about her. Her siblings always bullied her and never helped her when she was in trouble. So with these hardships, Adeline challenged herself to be the best in school to gain recognition with her father. In this story she had also coped with lots of death and depression throughout the way. There was no one who around her when she needed someone. She had played a very depressing role yet had achieved high accomplishments. It was amazing how she had survived with the pain of such a childhood. Falling Leaves was a terrible and riveting family history, which touched many people’s hearts.

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