Jung-ling's family considers her bad luck because her mother died giving birth to her. They discriminate against her and make her feel unwanted yet she yearns and continuously strives for her parents' love. Her stepmother is vindictive and cruel and her father dismissive. Jung-ling grows up to be an academic child, with a natural ability for writing. Only her aunt and grandfather offer her any love and kindness. The story is of survival in the light of the mental and physical cruelty of her stepmother and the disloyalty of her siblings. Jung-ling blossoms in spite of everything and the story ends as her father agrees to let her study in England.A Puffin Modern Classic edition of this bestselling autobiography, celebrating ten years of publication.
Adeline Yen Mah lives in California after growing up in Tianjin and Shanghai in China, Hong Kong and England. She studied medicine but gave up her career as a physician to become a full-time writer. After the death of her stepmother, she felt compelled to write her story and the result, Falling Leaves became an international bestseller. Adeline has written several other books for adults and children including Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society, an adventure based on her own made-up stories when she was a lonely child.