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I found the book rather boring, slow and so repetitive. I did not find any part of it funny. The way she chose to raise her children is not totally Asian, other cultures have similar parenting styles. I love reading and love to learn, there was nothing to love about this story nor to learn.
Chinese Parenting or Western Parenting?
Chinese parenting or Western parenting – which one is better? I never really gave much thought in the past about any specific differences between the two styles. I did, however realize that a lot of Asian children seem to be more ‘gifted’ academically, technologically, and musically but put it down to longer school hours and Saturday classes in the Asian world.
A Scintillating Read: Meaningful, Humorous and Honest
Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother is the true story of a Chinese Mom raising her two Chinese/American daughters in the Chinese parenting way. The level of respect, obedience, altruism, and integrity that is expected from the child(ren) is almost mind-numbing! An immensely enjoyable book that had me pulled in from the first page where Ms. Chua lists some things that Chinese mothers would NEVER EVER allow their Chinese children to do. I understood completely the comparisons and the clash of cultures and the bluntness and almost arrogant and insulting way these children are raised in.
In the end, who is the better parent? Well, that is for each of you to decide after you’ve read this amazing, humbling, and brutally honest story. I’d highly recommend this book to any one, I read it in one sitting. It mesmerized me and I really GOT IT as I'm sure many of you will too!
This book really spoke to me, and I know that it will touch countless others. Like Chua’s daughters, I fall under the category of “model minority.” I grew up playing hours of piano, finessing my Korean, and striving for no less than A’s in school. While reading the book, I completely empathized with Sophia and Lulu. Why did I have to miss school field trips so that I could play the piano? Why were my friends rewarded for a B when my mother was asking me why I missed the one question preventing me from getting a perfect score? Even while empathizing with Chua’s daughters, however, I completely understood and agreed with Amy Chua’s parenting methods. Her book made me look back onto my childhood and despite the fact that I resented so much of what my mother made me do at the time, I am completely indebted to her now and appreciate her persistence and stamina.
Kendra R. (New Orleans, LA)
Chua’s parental practices, which might sound terribly harsh to a Westerner, represent something totally different in the Asian cultural context. The truth is, the world is a harsh place, and Chua, like my parents and countless others, is preparing her kids with “tough love.” My mother often asked me, “Do you think it’s easy to be hard on you? I would love to be the parent who just plays with you all day. If you succeed and do well in the world, who does it benefit? Me? No, it’s you.” My mother’s tenacity in learning my coursework with me, memorizing my piano pieces, and guiding me through every step of the way has made me endlessly grateful to her. I know that I worked hard, but like Chua, my mother worked even harder and this can only be understood as a sign of their love for their children.
I am so glad that Chua has written a book that truthfully portrays the experience of growing up with Asian or what Chua dubs as “Chinese” parents. All of my Asian friends appreciate the sacrifices their parents have made for them, whether it is working round the clock in a 7-Eleven to fund their kids’ college educations, shadowing their children’s educational careers, or sacrificing their own professional careers to chauffeur their kids between school and extracurricular activities. Although many may have resented this parental attention at times, in the end, they have all appreciated the dedication of their parents and rather than cutting ties as soon as they turn 18, they plan on supporting their parents in their future. Chua perfectly captures this cultural style of parenting, and she does so with humor. She knows that her parenting techniques sound harsh, and she makes fun of how extreme she can be at times. Yet in every page of the book, we can catch glimpses of her love for Sophia and Lulu. For example, her music practice instructions to her daughters are filled with inside jokes and pet names. Chua’s witty way of describing her trials with her daughters and her honest descriptions of her daughters’ searing criticisms of her share with the public a style of parenting, that she does not argue as being the best, but as a different one, nonetheless filled with unconditional love and desire for her children to succeed and be prepared for the world outside the safety of their home. I highly recommend this fascinatingly captivating book to all parents and their grown children; it’s a reminder that parental love comes in all forms.
The book was engaging with short pointed chapters and unexpectedly (and perhaps unintentionally) humorous. I would have liked to have heard more from her husband's point of view. I didn't like how extreme her "Chinese parenting" seemed as a "Western parent," and how dismissive she was, but that very dislike made me think more about parenting styles and created discussion among friends.
Coming from the neighborhood where Amy Chua lives I had hopes of enjoying this book. Not so. The writing is too simple at best and although the topic of Eastern vs Western ways of raising children would make for an interesting discussion I found her way too strident and unyielding in her opinions. Yes we Westerners do worry about the happiness of our children more than we should but what is the end result of the unmerciful browbeating she subjects her daughters to? Perhaps they do "achieve", but at what price?
Vicky S. (Torrance, CA)
Keeping An Open Mind
I was at times fascinated and appalled by Amy's recounting or her parenting wondering at times if she suffered from OCD. I also had to constantly keep an open mind and not condemn her culturally different parenting. Book clubs could feast on this book with rich discussions of the Western vs Chinese or Asian way of raising children. Could we really achieve much more if we were pushed hard and would we appreciate it later? I've shared the subject of this book with many others who are interested in reading it. The writing was a bit awkward at times which is why I gave it a 3.
Lynette M. (charlotte, NC)
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
I thoroughly enjoyed Amy Chua's book. I was, at turns, both amazed and horrified by her descriptions of her mothering techniques. I found the insight into the Chinese way of parenthood to be fascinating but not sure it is something I could adopt or agree with for my own children. Her style of writing was very honest, humorous and engaging and I think this would make a terrific book club choice. I would be fascinated to hear her husband's perspective on some of the same events. I highly recommend this book.
Sadie PDX OR
Who is the audience?
As I read this book, I found myself repeatedly asking, "For whom is this written?" Its marketing copy seems to suggest this would be a memoir hybrid of sorts providing readers with insight re: the cultural differences between Chinese and Western parenting styles. But really it's more of a detailed chronology of the author's values, her accomplishments, and what she demands of her children. There wasn't enough info re: the motivation behind the values described. I really wanted to learn something & I found myself first disappointed and then bored. As a bookseller, I don't feel there is enough of interest to intrigue readers.