Monday, May 9

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

A review by Kelly
(She can also be found  here and here)

A bit about the book:

Witty, entertaining and provocative, this is a unique and important memoir that will transform your perspective of parenting forever.

A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what Chinese parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it’s like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I’ve done it…

Amy Chua’s daughters, Sophia and Louisa (Lulu) were polite, interesting and helpful, they had perfect school marks and exceptional musical abilities. The Chinese-parenting model certainly seemed to produce results. But what happens when you do not tolerate disobedience and are confronted by a screaming child who would sooner freeze outside in the cold than be forced to play the piano?

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is a story about a mother, two daughters, and two dogs. It was supposed to be a story of how Chinese parents are better at raising kids than Western ones. But instead, it’s about a bitter clash of cultures, a fleeting taste of glory, and how you can be humbled by a thirteen-year-old.

Read an Excerpt from Amy Chau's  book over here

My Review:

How great is this book’s cover treatment? Simple, Clean and Bright. It stands out on the shelf and definitely on my list of Things to Read. I am not a mother, nor do I have the urge start learning parenting skills just yet (Yes Dad you can wipe your brow). I picked this book up purely because of its cover (ok and because I was hearing such wonderful things about it), the wonder of this book lies purely in Amy’s writing. She displays her family out for you to see and do with what you please (well make assumptions, pass judgement & marvel at). You can see Amy loves her family with every fiber, bone, piece of skin & nerve of her body and soul. She before you situations of any family, but the catch is that she is telling you how she raised her children the ‘Chinese way’. The Chinese way? Yup! The musical-talent-mathematician-hard-worker-self-disciplined-genius baby maker model of parenting. A no nonsense way to allowing your children to be who they want to and discover their talents.

I have to admit Amy’s methods seem a tad extreme and, in some parts, flawed. I didn’t say it – she did. That is what is so great about this story – everything is a learning curve. Amy did what she, the Chinese mother, could do for her children and accepted the hardships and cuddles that came with it. Hard lessons are learnt in this book; lessons that encourage Western parents to accept only mediocre from their kids because of the fear of damaging them. Amy also points that it sometimes doesn’t work, but only once out of twice.

I loved this book, filled with wit, laughter, tradition, excruciating fights (I am all too familiar with) and family.

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