The Question and Answer section for Chinese Cinderella is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Adeline takes a liking to a special duckling pet, Precious Little Treasure , and cares for it. The duckling represents the vulnerability and need for love that Adeline feels herself.
Austerity means a stern and serious quality as well as living simply within basic needs. Adeline and her siblings must live under father and Niang's demanding rules. There is little room for fun or anything beyond basic human needs.
Adeline can only dream about a brother like Victor. Unlike her brothers, Victor is a kind boy who always tries to include Adeline in what is happening.