Chinese Cinderella Full Chapter Summaries (Entire Book) - Wikinut (2023)

Chapter 1: Top of the Class

Autumn 1941. Four-year-old Adeline is intelligent and smart, receiving an award from her kindergarten teacher (Mother Agnes) on the first week of school. Her Aunt Baba treasures Adeline’s award by placing it in her special safe-deposit box. Adeline is close to her Aunt Baba, asking her about her deceased mother. Aunt Baba isn’t willing to share what she knows but Adeline learns that her mother died from a fever two weeks after she was born.

Chapter 2: A Tianjin Family

The whole family (seven children, her Father and Niang, her Grandfather Ye Ye, Grandmother Nai Nai and Aunt Baba (older sister of her Father) lived in a big house in the French Concession of Tianjin (city port on the north-east coast of china)

Chapter 3: Nai Nai’s Bound Feet

Adeline is mystified at her Grandmother Nai Nai and her bound feet. Adeline learns that having your feet bound wasn’t good and luckily, the custom had changed and small feet were no longer considered an important part of being feminine and beautiful. Adeline gladly shares the news of her achievement, but her siblings aren’t happy and are probably jealous of her, thinking it’s not possible. Because of the medal, her father singles her out, which had never happened before. Whatever someone in the family doesn’t want to do, they force Adeline to do it in the end.

Chapter 4: Life in Tianjin

Winter, early 1942. When Adeline started kindergarten at St Joseph’s French Convent School, her Big Sister was already in fifth grade. Complaining about having to walk Adeline to and from school, Grandmother Nai Nai finally told Ah Mao, the rickshaw-puller, to take them to and from school. Adeline loved everything about school. It was a place where they were all equals and a place where, unlike her siblings, nobody looked down on her. Finally, she felt like belonged. A year after Father, Niang and Fourth Brother had been gone, there was a heatwave on. Nai Nai decided to soak her feet, but unfortunately, she died of a massive stroke. A grand funeral was held for her.

Chapter 5: Arrival in Shanghai

Adeline, Big Sister and Big Brother are taken to the railroad station to meet their father. Together, the four went to the house in Shanghai. Father, Niang and Fourth Brother had been living there for one and a half years. The children are told that they are to live on the second floor (three brothers in one room, Adeline and Aunt Baba in another and Ye Ye and Big Sister in separate rooms.) The others, Father, Niang and their stepsiblings would live on the first floor in individual rooms showing prejudice against the children, Aunt Baba and Ye Ye.

Chapter 6: First Day At School

In Shanghai, Adeline starts first grade at a new school called Sacred Heart, her Big Sister goes to Aurora Middle School and her brothers go to St John’s Academy. After school, Adeline is forgotten about so she tries to find her way home by herself. Of course, she doesn’t know where she lives, so she gets lost. Luckily a lady from a restaurant spots her and Adeline calls her father to pick her up. Her father tells Adeline that in future she needs to use a map.

Chapter 7: Family Reunion

Last Sunday of October. Ye Ye, Aunt Baba, Third Brother and Little Sister arrive in Shanghai. Little Sister hadn’t seen her mother for one and a half years so she doesn’t remember her. When Little Sister threw a tantrum and wouldn’t go to her mother, Niang started beating her deliberately and viciously. Adeline finally speaks out (to stop beating her) when none of the other adults did so. After that, the children realized that because Nai Nai was dead, Niang was now the one in charge.

Chapter 8: Tram Fare

The children’s schools were a fair distance away and the number 8 tram ran directly from door to door. But the children were being taught an austerity programme to teach them about the ‘value of money, so they weren’t given any pocket money, meaning that they couldn’t take the tram to and from school. When Ye Ye first arrived in Shanghai, he gave them tram fare to go to school, but two months later, all his money was spent. The subject was brought up but Niang and Father found out that the money had been spent on tram fares. The children were told to apologize before being allowed to receive tram fares from their parents. Although they promised each other they wouldn’t give in, Big Sister held out for ten days and her three brothers held out for another week before giving in. Adeline wouldn’t and didn’t give in.

Chapter 9: Chinese New Year

Second Grade – Seven years old. Niang and Father gave Adeline and her siblings’ traditional clothing (‘unpopular’) whilst Niang’s children received stylish Western outfits (‘popular’). The children feel it’s unfair and plans to plot against Niang. Unfortunately, Niang overhears their entire conversation so by getting back at them, she recruits their leader, Big Sister, over to ‘their’ side and moving into a spare bedroom on the first floor. Although Adeline is a ‘Genius’ in her class, she wants her classmates to like her and her parents to love her. Adeline is depressed and lonely.

Chapter 10: Shanghai School Days

Adeline befriends the most athletic girl in Sheng Xin School (Sacred Heart), Wu Chun-mei. August 1945, almost eight years old. America dropped the atom bomb on Japan. This ended the Second World War. Spring term, 1946, eight and a half years old. Father took Niang, Big Sister, Fourth Brother and Little Sister north to reclaim his Tianjin properties. They stayed away for three months. The remaining family had freedom once again and did as they wished.

Chapter 11: PLT

Mr and Mrs Huang came to visit not long after Father and Niang returned from Tianjin, bringing gifts (seven baby ducklings). The fourth Brother picked first, followed by Little Sister, Big Sister, Big Brother, and so on. Adeline named her duckling Precious Little Treasure (PLT). PLT becomes her first pet and a real friend. PLT dies when Father decides to test Jackie’s obedience by seeing if Jackie will harm the duckling.

Chapter 12: Big Sister’s Wedding

Chinese New Year holidays, 1948. Father and Niang, and sometimes along with Big Sister continued to travel to Tianjin. It turned out that Niang had decided to marry off Big Sister (17) to Samuel (31), Nai Nai’s doctor’s son.

Chapter 13: A Birthday Party

September 1948, after the summer holidays. Wu Chun-mei persuades Adeline to go to her birthday party. Niang finds out about the party and Adeline is whipped.

Chapter 14: Class President

Adeline is voted as Class President. The girls in her class decide to follow her home as a surprise, but instead, a very ugly surprise awaits them. They see Adeline’s true family.

Chapter 15: Boarding School In Tianjin

Adeline is sent to St Joseph’s boarding school. Middle of November 1948, Nancy Chen left Tianjin with her mother. By the middle of December, Adeline was the only student left. Adeline’s Aunt Reine Schilling (Niang’s older sister), came to take Adeline away after New Year, 1949. Aunt Baba had stayed in Shanghai whilst Father, Niang, Ye Ye, Fourth Brother and Little Sister.

Chapter 16: Hong Kong

Uncle Jean, Aunt Reine, Victor and Claudine (cousins of Adeline) and Adeline took a boat to sail to Hong Kong. On the boat, Adeline was treated equally, like a family that she belonged to. On arrival at the new house in Hong Kong, Adeline’s parents completely ignore her. Ye Ye shows Adeline the way Chinese characters are formed and immediately, it interests Adeline in learning Chinese again. Victor decides not to go on a Sunday outing to keep Adeline company. In return, Adeline gives him her ‘Paper Magic’ book.

Chapter 17: Boarding School in Hong Kong

The Schillings left Hong Kong for Geneva on Thursday morning. Two days later, an hour after lunch on Saturday afternoon, Adeline is taken to Sacred Heart, a boarding school.

Chapter 18: Miserable Sunday

Two years later. Summer, 1951. Adeline’s number (37) is called out to be given an egg. But after 730 eggless days, Adeline is suspicious of the sudden egg. In the bathroom, Adeline overhears that some of her classmates are sorry for her.

Chapter 19: End of Term

Each of the girls is going home but only Adeline stayed behind for the summer holidays.

Chapter 20: Pneumonia

Adeline’s headache further develops into Pneumonia. After she is discharged from the hospital, her father takes her home. Upon arrival, she learns that Third Brother has also arrived in Hong Kong. Big Brother and Second Brother left over a year ago to go to university in England. Big Sister moved back to Tianjin with her husband and their baby daughter. Adeline is afraid her parents will force her into an arranged marriage after she finishes school and she won’t be able to go to England.

Chapter 21: Playwriting Competition

After a week of staying at home, Adeline went back to school, although it was still holidays. Upon reading in the library, Adeline finds a magazine with an announcement of a play-writing competition. Chinese New Year, 1952. No contact came from home and although it had been after six months, there was no news of the play. March 1952. Adeline’s Grandfather Dies. One Saturday, Adeline is called home because her father has found out that she entered the International Play-writing competition and that she had won first prize. Therefore, her father agrees to allow her to go to a university in England to study obstetrics at medical school.

Chapter 22: Letter From Aunt Baba

22 September 1952. Aunt Baba writes Adeline a letter to say congratulations on going to Oxford, England with Third Brother and that she was living in Shanghai on Avenue Joffre with Miss Chien and two maids. Aunt Baba also retells the story of Chinese Cinderella. In a way, both Ye Xian and Cinderella are like Adeline: children who are mourning for their dead mothers. Aunt Baba also congratulates her on winning the prestigious international play-writing competition.


What is the brief summary of Chinese Cinderella? ›

The true story "Chinese Cinderella" is about a young Chinese girl named Adeline who faces the struggles of being unwanted and unloved. Adeline is seen as bad luck because her mother died after she was born. Her stepmother, Niang, hates her and favors all other siblings besides Adeline.

What happened in chapter 21 of Chinese Cinderella? ›

Adeline returns to school a week before anyone else, spending her time reading and chatting with the school librarian. When she finds an announcement for an international English playwriting contest in a magazine, Adeline remembers Ye Ye's encouragement and wish for her to succeed.

What happened in chapter 19 of Chinese Cinderella? ›

Adeline is struck by a growing headache. Although she never admits it, everyone knows that she is the only student who remains at the school all summer rather than going home to her family, and she suspects that her friends have stayed behind as long as possible to keep her company.

What happened in chapter 4 of Chinese Cinderella? ›

Adeline falls asleep and wakes to find Aunt Baba crying—Nai Nai has just died of a stroke. The family gives Nai Nai a proper Buddhist burial, sleeping in the same room as the body to keep Nai Nai company, having a funeral procession, and burning sacrifices so that Nai Nai would have everything she needs in heaven.

What are the key points of Chinese Cinderella? ›

Chinese Cinderella is harrowing. The story speaks of several themes throughout, such as abuse, isolation, family, and coming of age. This young adult story tells the gripping tale of how one young Chinese girl endured horrific abuse and was able to escape it through her academic success.

What happens in chapter 3 of Chinese Cinderella? ›

Adeline asks her grandmother why her feet are so small, and Nai Nai explains that it has been the custom to bind women's feet for over a thousand years. She is bitter about having had her feet bound and “maimed,” and she tells Adeline that she is fortunate the custom is no longer practiced so she can run and jump.

What happens in chapter 20 of Chinese Cinderella? ›

Adeline's Father visits once while Mary is there, disproving the common theory between Mary and her other friends that Adeline is an orphan. After Adeline is given penicillin and begins to recover, Father's chauffer takes Adeline back to the family home to rest for one week.

What happens in chapter 16 of Chinese Cinderella? ›

Adeline is happy on the ship, traveling with the family. For lengthy periods of time, she feels that she truly is a member of their family and not the unwanted daughter of her own vicious parents and siblings. She daydreams about Aunt Reine adopting her and living with them forever, never having to see Niang again.

What happens in Chinese Cinderella Chapter 10? ›

Chun-mei's father is angry that Adeline may be in a dangerous situation; Niang is often angered when Adeline avoids physical danger. Wu Chun-mei and Adeline become close friends. Chun-mei gives Adeline books to read and Adeline helps Chun-mei with her math, and they partner with each other for sports.

What happened in chapter 18 of Chinese Cinderella? ›

Although Monica is three years older than Adeline, Adeline begins to surpass her as a writer and a student. Monica resents her for this, chastising Adeline for her shabby clothing, since Adeline has only worn-out sneakers and an old, ill-fitting dress to wear.

What is chapter 18 of Chinese Cinderella about? ›

Chapter 18

Since Sunday is a visiting day for the students to spend with their family, Adeline had spend her time in the library reading books because no one is going to come to visit her. At the end of the chapter, her classmates had found out her interesting personality with an inability to dress appropriately.

What is Chapter 7 of Chinese Cinderella about? ›

Though Niang tries to get Little Sister to come to her arms, Little Sister refuses and instead keeps going to Aunt Baba, saying that she doesn't want or like Niang. After Little Sister tips a candy bowl over, both Fourth Brother and Big Sister scream at her, trying to earn goodwill from Niang by being cruel.

What happens in chapter 6 in Chinese Cinderella? ›

When school is let out, Adeline waits by the gate for someone to arrive to take her home, but no one comes. She waits until the school has emptied and the gate is locked, and then nervously walks into the streets of the city, trying to find her way home.

What happens in Chinese Cinderella chapter 11? ›

Chapter 11: PLT Summary and Analysis

Adeline's father, Niang and their children returned from Tianjin. Family friends, the Huangs, brought each of the children a pet duckling. Adeline's was thrilled to have a pet, something to take care of a look after. She named the duck Precious Little Treasure—PLT for short.

What is the main conflict in Chinese Cinderella? ›

The main conflict in the story is Adeline's conflict with Niang. Adeline is treated badly by Niang throughout the story while Niang fights for power in the family. Niang wishes to control the family and make decisions the way she wants it, while Adeline tries to stop her.

What life lessons can we learn from Chinese Cinderella? ›

The moral of Chinese Cinderella is that a hardworking and intelligent girl has the ability to rescue herself from a bad fate. Adeline is terrified of being forced into an arranged marriage or obliged to enter the workforce prematurely.

What is the summary of the Korean Cinderella? ›

It very different from the typical Cinderella story. The girl named Pear Blossom loses her mother and after this tragedy her father marries another again. Her stepmother and her stepsisters do not like her. They always blade her for everything.In the end Pear Blossom prevails over her unkind stepmother and stepsisters.

What is the theme of family in Chinese Cinderella? ›

Toxic Family

Although Adeline is abused most often, Father and Niang's cruelty affects everyone in the family. The life of the family entirely revolves around the parents' demands, desires, and preferences, creating a toxic family dynamic in which everyone is bent towards serving the whims of one or two people.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Lakeisha Bayer VM

Last Updated: 12/10/2023

Views: 6137

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (49 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lakeisha Bayer VM

Birthday: 1997-10-17

Address: Suite 835 34136 Adrian Mountains, Floydton, UT 81036

Phone: +3571527672278

Job: Manufacturing Agent

Hobby: Skimboarding, Photography, Roller skating, Knife making, Paintball, Embroidery, Gunsmithing

Introduction: My name is Lakeisha Bayer VM, I am a brainy, kind, enchanting, healthy, lovely, clean, witty person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.