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I picked this book up at a clearance sale in Kinokuniya, but its value is worth so much more than the price written inside its cover. Just as the Economist states on the back, "One would have to have a heart of stone not to be moved."

This book is a collection of oral stories and letters from Chinese mothers who have abandoned their daughters. For a mixture of reasons - deep-rooted traditional culture, one-child policy, poverty - it's difficult to believe this book was only published three years ago. The scars of mothers in this book are quite recent, from the late 1980s to 2005. These aren't folktales and rumors from the long-ago dynasties. They are as real and young as my own generation. In contrast to those stereotypical stories about Chinese mother-in-laws being harsh and demanding on the wives of their son, these are letters and messages from grief-stricken Chinese mothers to their lost or adopted daughters.

Check out my review at Bookworm in Bangkok.

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