Chinese Cinderella

Chinese Cinderella

Describe Adeline. What kind of a person is she? In what ways is she courageous? Is she ever weak?

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Adeline is the fifth youngest of the Yen family and the protagonist of the novel. The book follows her childhood from the age of four to her departure to England in her early teens. Adeline is an outcast in the eyes of much of her own family, since her birth brought upon the death of her mother. Her inadvertent role in her mother's passing causes animosity between her and her older siblings and contributes to her father's apathy towards her.

Adeline maintains a very close relationship with her Aunt Baba and both her grandparents, turning to them for reason and comfort throughout her early years. Her Aunt's support combined with her father's brief flashes of approval lead Adeline to pursue academic excellence, leading to her outstanding performance in school and indomitable drive. Although her siblings and stepmother Niang often abuse her, Adeline attempts to overcome her problematic home life with her performance and community outside it.