16 January 2011

Bitter Melon; Cara Chow

Bitter MelonBitter Melon by Cara Chow
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Frances' life reminded me of the many tales I've heard of my parent's generation of Jewish children growing up in places like the Lower East Side or the Bronx: their parents sacrificed and scrimped so that the next generation could do better, achieve more, and only certain schools and the highest grades, the most correct behavior was allowed. Who needs sports? Who needs dates?

That Bitter Melon is set in 1989, rather than 1939 (or earlier) is what will surprise readers. Aren't we supposed to be more enlightened now, don't parents realize that praise and encouragement are "best" for their children? And how can you possibly apply to college without a c.v. filled with extra-curriculars like volunteering and music? It was interesting reading this just as the Tiger Mom issue flared, as it highlighted the truth behind the story.

ARC provided by publisher.

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