The things that made Adeline Mah joyful and fearful.......
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Her fears? Being beaten by her father........ the abusiveness of both of the adult figures in her life. Her father has no compassion for her, she's blamed for the death of her mother (she fears her brother Edgar most), and her step-mother HATES her. Niang is an evil, evil woman. She also lives through the Japanese occupation of her country
Her joys are simple; they are found in books, in the friendships she's able to acquire (difficult because of her family), her accomplishments and her education. In the end she triumphs over things that could have crushed her 100 times over.