I don’t like books that are too sad or too painful, so as I do with every book, I skimmed Falling Leavesfirst, and Â read the ending. I decided that it was worth reading through.
Adeline was born in the 30′s and grew up in China. She described going through several significant periods of history in China including WW II, civil war between Nationalist and Communist, the Cultural Revolution, and all the political and economic changes in Hong Kong. It was very informative to see at eye level a bit of Chinese history that my parents most likely went through.
I identified some of the struggle for identity that Adeline went through. Let me clarify, I did not suffer the kind of rejection Adeline did. But I identify with the cultural dynamics of a Chinese family. Looking as an outsider at another Chinese family, I see what my family must look like, to some extent.
The book helped me to understand a bit of my roots, but not in a positive way. Â As a Chinese American growing up in White America, I was one of 4 Asians at my elementary school. One was my sister, and the other 2 were a set of brothers. So basically there were 2 Chinese families at my school.Â I’ve worked hard on not being too “Chinese”. Â