This book chronicles the ordeals of one Adeline Yen Mah. She was born in the 1930s in China as the youngest of 5 children. Female daughters were already not given many opportunities, and being the youngest didn't help little Adeline out. After she was born her mother went through complications and died 2 weeks later. So add on that "she killed her mother" and her childhood as unwanted was sealed.
We follow Adeline through her childhood in China. We watch as she is put up against road blocks every single step of her way. She is tortured by her stepmother Niang (a Chinese word for mother) who also turns Adeline's father against her. The things that happened to this poor child are unimaginable for someone like me who had a pretty happy childhood.
There is a scene where her father takes a little duckling that she was given as a pet to use as a test for their German Shepard's obedience training. Of course nothing good could happen with that.
There is another, of the consequences she must endure after winning class president and her friends coming to her house to surprise her.....not good.
We continue to follow Adeline as she grows into an adult and makes a fine life for herself. Her desire for her parents to love her and show her some kind of admiration never diminishes. Do they ever return her love? Read to find out!