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Rebecca Lim

Author of Mercy

23 Works 933 Members 68 Reviews

About the Author

Rebecca Lim is the author of The Astrologer's Daughter which made the Davitt Awards 2015 shortlists in the category of Young Adult Novel. (Bowker Author Biography)


Works by Rebecca Lim


Common Knowledge




Representation: Asian main character
Trigger warnings: Abusive father, suicide

5/10, looking back at this I can say for sure that even though I think this to be quite well written I will never ever pick this one up again mainly because this is one of the most brutal books I have ever read and only a handful of books can rival its sheer brutality and honestly? This hit way too close to home and I'm still not sure why this won a Children's Book Council of Australia award for a young adult book for 2022, where do I even begin? I wasn't disappointed by this but I felt that it was just so, so bleak and depressing however the ending is just a little bit better. It starts with the main character Wen Zhou who is a child of Chinese parents who came to Australia to apparently look for a better life but still they are struggling however Wen has an opportunity to turn things around. She now has a scholarship to some fancy private school or something like that and she alongside her friend Henry are studying for the entrance exam. What really made this book the heaviest one I've read in a while is Wen's father. And this is the part where I just felt that this was way too familiar to me so this hit me like an emotional truck. Wen's father is quite a horrible and abusive person, to say the least, I won't reveal everything since you must read it to find out but trust me he is what I said he was. Not long after a parent of a person Wen knows dies by suicide and wow does this book deliver emotional hit after hit since after the suicide Wen's father does not react kindly to this since he strongly disapproves of that and he says something along the lines of, "Disgrace!" or "Shame on them!" That was some vitriol I just saw there. Did I mention he shouts a lot? Wen and her mother continue to weather through the storm of feelings and especially abuse and one time Wen's father cracked a chair which I didn't like however in the end it was a little bit rushed as the father did a complete 180 and turned into a good person in not much time at all but at least that ends it on a high note.… (more)
Law_Books600 | 2 other reviews | Nov 3, 2023 |
Rather harrowing story of the escape of a brother and sister from the great famine that was the result of the communist revolution in China in the early 1950s. How these two children lose their mother to starvation because the family must give everything to the state, and how they then escape China and travel to Hong Kong in a desperate bid to be reunited with their father, who left China 10 years before to work in Australia.
They travel by Sampang to the Australian consulate where they are fortunate to meet a "ghost" ( white person) who speaks their dialect and who gets in touch with someone who knows where their father is. They then travel by ocean liner to Australia where they are taught English by a polish refugee who has been living in China after World War 2.
Interesting story about the White Australia Policy and how difficult it was for people who were not white anglo-saxons to come to Australia in the 1950s. Also looks at the terrible events of the Great Cultural revolution on the poor farmers in China as land, livestock and crops were systematically taken away from them to be used for the collective good, and people starved to death.
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nicsreads | Oct 22, 2023 |
First sentence: As we take our places in the classroom, Mr Cornish writes with a flourish on the whiteboard, What is the essence of being 'Australian'?

Brief Note: Tiger Daughter, I'm assuming, was originally published in Australia in 2021. It was first published in the United States in 2023. What this says about Cybils eligibility I'm not quite sure...

Premise/plot: Tiger Daughter is a heavy/weighty "problem novel." Not all problem novels are equally heavy/weighty. It was almost as if the author wanted to pack in as many problems as humanly possible to make the reader bear them one and all. (Perhaps as an endurance or strength exercise in empathy?) If one was to list all the possible trigger warnings--as is so often done these days--the list would go on for pages. Expect the worst on every page and you've got an idea of what this one is like.

Wen Zhou, our heroine, is the daughter of Chinese immigrants. Her father is a piece of work. Controlling, demanding, cruel, bitter, etc. (Tip of the iceberg). Her mother takes it all--not with a smile, but because she has to it seems. Wen is also supposed to just take life as it is--on her father's terms. No hopes. No dreams. Just be a mindless yet always respectful servant to her father.

Henry Xiao, our heroine's closest friend, is the son of Chinese immigrants. His home life is DIFFERENT than Wen's homelife but equally problematic and woeful. Henry has a wee bit more hope than Wen--which inspires Wen. But things seem BLEAK and bleaker still.

Is this friendship approved by Wen's father? by Wen's mother? Not really. Wen isn't encouraged to be friends with anyone. It seems the father's mission to make sure that NO ONE wants to be friends with Wen.

Both families face a million problems--each heavier than the last. Things continue bleakly on until the ending when things go from oppressingly bleak to mostly bleak.

My thoughts: No doubt there will be readers who enjoy carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders as they read this one. The bleakness is immersive. And some adult readers--especially the ones that hand out stars--seem to LOVE wading through bleak novels with IMPORTANT topics and themes. Teachers, librarians, other adults that read children's novels--they may love this one exceedingly for being so obviously IMPORTANT and WEIGHTY and authentically bleak.

Did I enjoy this one? No. Is there beauty that could have been found in this one--perhaps through the characterization or narration? Perhaps. I didn't find it personally. But reading is so subjective. And IMPORTANT "problem novels" aren't usually my thing.
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blbooks | 2 other reviews | Sep 4, 2023 |
Full Review on NetGalley
AnaCarter | 6 other reviews | Feb 14, 2023 |



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½ 3.8

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