Saturday, March 10, 2012

Becoming Madame Mao

Title Becoming Madame Mao

Author: Anchee Min

Rating: <3 <3 <3 1/2

Summary: Reared by a mother who was the last concubine of a rich man, and a father who liked to hit his girls with shovels, Madame Mao as a young girl felt herself doomed: "I see my father hit Mother with a shovel. It happened suddenly. Without warning. I can hardly believe my eyes. He is mad. He calls Mother a slut. Mother's body curls up. My chest swells. He hits her back, front, shouting that he will break her bones." 

Review: Becoming Madame Mao was a very insightful novel, of how a woman who would become one of the most powerful people in China for a time, developed from a young girl whose Mother was an abused concubine, and who at time was just a tiny child who narrowly escaped, having her feet bound, and later in life two marriages that left her heart broken.  The book is written from her perspective, and from the perspective of someone else looking in from the outside.  It takes the reader into the struggles of an actress and an individual who had many hardships, and while it does help you understand where they led in Madame Mao's life, it still shows how she let cruelty take over in a lot of cases in her later life.  My favorite part of this novel was actually the last page, and I would recommend it to anyone, it was very thought provoking. 

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