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The Diary of Ma Yan - Book Review

Poignant story inspired by the diary of a girl living in deserted Zhiangjiashu, China who had a dream of studying and making life better for her parents…particularly her mother. The indomitable thirst for knowledge and dream of a better life is clearly seen in the diary of this young girl who lived in a village with values and principles so far back in time that we, the modern society, is probably more than three decades ahead of them. For Ma Yan, life is all about survival in a barren land. Mother Nature is unkind to the folks here and no matter how they try to squeeze as much out of the land, they cannot get enough to survive. Therefore, her parents often have to travel to other places to make some money. But there comes a time when there wasn’t enough money for everyone in her family to attend school. Being the only female sibling in her family, Ma Yan was told that she would have to stop attending school so that her brothers could. Angered with the unfairness of it all, Ma Ya writers about her frustration, her love for her mother. Her mother suffers from stomach ulcers she did not have money to heal, so, her mom’s moods were up and down all the time. During down moments, Ma Yan would be called names and made to do more housework that any other ordinary kids her age deserved to. But she endured. Eventhough her mother treated her unwell at times, she knew they loved each other and her mother was doing everything she can to ensure that her kids and her family survived. Surviving life.

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