This book is based on the author's true story of how her own mother struggled for her right to educate her daughters despite her own parochial existence in a small kampong. This highly nostalgic and evocative book pays tribute to her mother's courageous journey from the bloom of youth to her affliction with Alzheimer's disease in old age....
|Title||:||Frog under A Coconut Shell|
|Number of Pages||:||320 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Frog under A Coconut Shell Reviews
Josephine Chia has written this very well. It’s the best Memoir I have ever read so far. A very good example of life struggle and unconditional love. Her English is not difficult and the narrative is compelling that I couldn’t put down. I cry a bucket of tears and it hurts my feelings knowing that this is a very long grieving process before the story even ended. If you ask me to recommend a good book for an endless life-lesson, I would recommend this book to you. Read this book bit by bit and absorb the lessons.
This book, hmm, it is meant to be for me to pick up this book and read it. It took me nearly a month because I knew there must be something for me to learn from this book, so I draided, delayed and sometimes, I got nervous. After 100th page, it took me only about 4 days to finish it off in between works, business and family's responsibilities. I love this book very much. I even contacted the author and set up a discussion this weekend. Somehow the ending is like a golden liquor in mending my broken heart. So much laughter, smiles, tears and I even threw this book on the pillow twice; as it reminds me too much of my own family. Easily, this book is my Top 5 read this year and Mama Phine is my top 5 favourite author now.
I was wary when I picked out this book at my local library. I was interested to read about Peranakan culture and Singapore in the 50s/60s, but I'm not that fond of reading memoirs. I always feel that the authors come across as self-indulgent to some extent no matter what. However, I was so engrossed in the story that it didn't bother me at all. Maybe it was because the book read mostly like a fictional story. I actually finished the book in about 28 hours, which says a lot. I just couldn't put it down once I started.The story is about the author and her siblings coping with the care of their mother, who is suffering from Alzheimer's. She weaves into this her mother's story, which is also the story of her childhood. I was really impressed that the author wrote about the poverty of her past so openly. Although my mother, who is probably only a few years younger than the author and also grew up in a kampong, shared little bits of how life was like for her, she always made light of it. For example, mum told us about how she and her siblings would be over the moon if they had a piece of pig's liver to share amongst them. But she never elaborated about how they probably lived in hunger most of the time. My father also grew up in a kampong but I'm so glad that the men of his generation think differently from those of his parents' time. I'm fortunate to be born in my generation.Both my parents never went on to be as well-educated as the author, but they were educated enough to get work in offices. Growing up, I always wondered why they never tire of their desk jobs. It just seemed so mundane to someone of my generation, whereas we are always chasing after some dream (either because of passion or for the money.) Now I understand that to them, it's already quite an achievement to be able to do such jobs.I think I shall have to read this book again sometime to savour it more slowly. I read it so quickly this time because the story was too compelling.
It's a wonderful and rich book covering interesting themes. Alzheimer disease and how the family cope with the carrier seldom can be found, and never in this beautiful and emotional narration. It is also rich in history of Singapore, and in Peranakan culture. The book is also unique because Phine is living in two worlds and can relate to both readers: the Asians and the Europeans. She sees the Asian culture (including Peranakan) in the eyes of the outsiders but on the other hand she is telling her own story of the person who is bonded by the culture. I myself am an Indonesian and speak Malay-variety language and can relate to many of her terms. However I am wondering how the non-Malay reader could understand the phrases and terms without foot-notes. Some phrases and explained afterwards, but there are those left unexplained. All and all, it's thumbs-up.
This book could really use a good editor. I almost gave up on it, but am glad I persisted. The end, where the author rethinks her relationship with her father, and her mother's role in her life was a great way to end the book, making it worth reading the whole thing. The story was universal - how to deal with becoming a "parent" to your mother. How to deal with the helplessness of someone who always cared for you? But, my favorite part was hearing about the past in Singapore, and how much life has changed there.
Once I started reading this book, I could not put it down. It brought up such an emotional storm inside me. Not only because my mother too, had Alzheimer's, but there were many other similarities as well, such as balancing a life between the different cultures of east & west. Fortunately, I did not, however, experience the poverty that Josephine grew up in, and it saddens me that I take so much for granted. This book chose me as I walked down the isle in the bookstore, and it will stay with me for a long time.
A memoir that focuses on the author's childhood (Singapore in the 50's/60's) and mother, who suffers from Alzheimer. Poignant and lovingly written.