Tiger Daughter


 The Gaps, A Glasshouse of Stars, Fly on the Wall, Tiger Daughter -- recently I have read a number of children's and YA books by Asian-Australian authors. This wasn't intentional, it's just happened by chance (I also have Alice Pung's One Hundred Days on reserve at the library), but it turns out that they are an outstanding cohort (Leanne Hall, Shirley Marr, Remi Lai and Rebecca Lim respectively).

Tiger Daughter tells a small but deeply moving story about grief, friendship and courage. Wen Zhou feels stuck, trapped inside the rigid boundaries enforced by her strict father. But when tragedy strikes her best friend Henry, Wen finds the strength to reach out and help, and before long this strength spreads to her mother, too. The bond between Wen and her mother and the alliance they form against her abusive father is the foundation of the book, and though the story is simple, it's very powerful.

Tiger Daughter deals with big problems -- mental illness, domestic violence, suicide -- but the remedies turn out to be deceptively small but meaningful: the gift of a meal, the courage to speak up, a message of compassion. This is a terrific book with a message of hope that deserves the awards and shortlistings that it has already won, and will probably attract in the future. 

No comments:

Post a Comment