Har Gau


Wednesday 23 February 2011

Book review - Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

Another update on what I've been reading, since I've not been eating an impressive amount lately.

So, when we had dinner with our friends in Assa a few weeks ago, one of them mentioned that she was reading the latest book by Amy Chua - well, I say latest, if you consider her other books about economic stuff fun reading. If not, this is her first book (I think) which I know about anyway - Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.

Anyhow, that sparked an interest, and the next few days, I read about this book more in the papers. There was quite a bit of controversy about the stuff she talked about - mainly about how she raised her 2 daughters, Sophia and Lulu.

So, while I was on Amazon, I decided to download a copy onto my Kindle, and began reading it sometime last week. On and off, reading roughly about 1/5th each time, I finished the book last night, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Not so much because I agree with her (slightly) insania method of raising children, but more so because I found her writing to be completely, starkly (and sometimes to her own detriment), painfully honest.

I sympathised with, and understood (worryingly) where she was coming from and also 'got her' when she explained the foundations for her ways. We come from different continents, with different backgrounds, and she is definitely a (much, much) higher flyer than I am, but a lot of her views and opinions were things I'd either thought of myself before, or struck a chord with me when I read it in her book.

The fiance found it slightly annoying (and also worried slightly) whenever I'd put down the book, look at him, and tell him 'You know what she did?', to which he'd go 'What'. I'd then proceed to tell him all the shocking details about how she dealt with her kids, and the worrying bit was when I'd say to the fiance 'And I completely agree with her on that.'

Having not heard many good reviews about the book, he now thinks I can't be let loose around puppies, let alone children, for those crazy views I've expressed. Anyhow, the book must be good, don't you agree, to generate such waves around the child-rearing and literary world.

Check it out for yourself if you don't believe me.


KimHo said...

I haven't read the book but, based on what has been shown in the news and media, I had to chuckle a little bit.

In my case, I don't have any children and I myself was raised "Chinese". So, in a way, I am familiar with what the author describe her methodologies. Do I approve it? Do I condone it? Am I against it? The answer is none. That's what she did with her children because she thought that's the best for them. I mean, isn't that her responsibility? If so, should she has to ask for approval from the rest of the society? Regardless of the answer, there is that one other question: how her children ended up?

monchichi said...

Hey KimHo,
Her kids actually grew up to be successful individuals; whether or not they are completely happy with her methods I'm not sure!

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