Before leaving for Florida I finished reading Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. It’s a quick read, evidence by the fact that I finished it in under a week. As I said, I picked it up because it was this month’s Book Club selection, and I didn’t really think I would like it too much. I was wrong. This was a really fun and interesting read. For those who don’t know, Amy Chua is a first generation Chinese American. She sets out with the goal to raise her children in what she refers to as the “traditional Chinese way” as opposed to the, in her opinion, more relaxed “Western way.” The book is her accounting of just how well that worked, or didn’t for her two daughters Sophia and Lulu.
The book is intense, Chua’s methods are unorthodox at best and bordering on inhumane at worst. It could be a gut wrenching book were it now for Chua’s own sense of humor and honesty. She knows her style is unconventional, and she knows others disagree with her stance on parenting. She’s brutally honest throughout the whole book detailing not only the things she’s done, but the way she’s felt about it through the years.
Going into the book, I was afraid I’d read the bragging manifesto of a woman who bullied her kids into submission, but what shines through most in the book is Amy’s intense love for her two daughters, and the only thing more impactful in the book other than her stubbornness regarding her methods is her ability to admit she may have gone to far.
The book concludes on a sort of open ended book, so the whole thing feels more like musings on parenting than an actual instruction manual. It’s a quick and light read that will definitely get you thinking about parents, children and the goals we set for ourselves and each other. If you’re on the fence, check it out!