Luo yi gui gen – falling leaves return to their roots – is a Chinese proverb. Who’s the ‘falling leaves’ anyway? Meet Adeline Yen Jun-Ling, the fifth daughter of a Chinese family. Her birth in 1937 sent her mother to death. Being single again for a while, Adeline’s father then decided to marry a French-Chinese seventeen-year-old girl, Jeanne Virgini Prosperi. Their marriage became a lifetime nightmare for little Adeline.
Jeanne was so unfair to her stepchildren. She treated her own children much better than them. Beside of the bad treatment from her mother, Adeline also suffered because of her siblings. Considered her as the cause of their mother’s death, they often tortured Adeline. Even James, her closest brother and the nicest of all, have ever betrayed her by his liar.
Adeline grew up and survived in the love of her grandparents and aunt. But one by one, they were separated from the poor girl. Finally Adeline realized that she must depend on her self only. She studied hard at school to reach her wildest dream: getting affection and proud from her father. Would she get it at the end?
The story about a girl’s struggling for the most basic of human needs: love, acceptance, and understanding made me crying easily. What Adeline wanted was so simple, but the way she got it was very hard yet complicated. Written in excellent English, with some Chinese terms and adequate background information about the setting, the book Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter successfully became New York Times Bestseller. And it also becomes my favorite book just after I finished it.
After reading this book, I wish there will be no more ‘falling leaves’ in this world. I also promise to be nice to every child I meet. I really recommend you to read this book, especially if you are interested in humanity. Although this book has been translated in Indonesian, I suggest you to read the original version written in English, to get the real emotion and be amazed by the choice of words… it’s just too beautiful to be missed…
NB : I really really want to know more about the author….. hope someday I have chance to meet her and talk with her….