What constitutes a “good parent,” and when do they go too far? We often hear stereotypes associated with strict Asian parenting, and yet, although the accreditations on paper are known to many, still we find ourselves wondering, “But at what costs?”
Secrets of a Fortune Cookie: A Memoir describes the harrowing journey of author Vanessa Yang, a young woman of Chinese descent, who was born in Singapore and educated in schools across the globe.
She experienced a traditional Asian-style upbringing, with no consideration to social development. As a strictly raised Chinese Singaporean expatriate student in international schools, she was also influenced by her friends and peers—and their Western ideals. Her mother’s relentless Eastern upbringing, dominated by an isolated focus on academics alone, was not a productive fit to a teenager’s growing desires to fit in and find encouragement and love.
These disparate experiences and lifestyles were the seeds of her vicious teen rebellion against everything her parents honored, and it was these acts of defiance that ultimately climaxed her insecurities. Satirically funny and heartrending by turns, her story of independent self-discovery brings to light, the aptly pondered detriments of the causes and consequences of stereotypical Asian-style parenting.
In the end, the clash of cultures she and her sisters faced drove her to resort to drastic measures in order to find the love and confidence she never received at home. A remarkable memoir with valuable life lessons, Secrets of a Fortune Cookie offers an inspiring look at a young woman’s turbulent past.