So far in the book, they have introduced all the characters of Adeline's family, the ones she likes and dislikes. How they get along and function as a family. All the children, except for their step-siblings, have hated their step-mother, Niang, and she has notoriously been the reason for all the commotion and anger among the family. The children's grandmother, Nai Nai, passed away when they were still living in Tianjin, and that was after father and Niang had disappeared somewhere and didn't come back for well over a year. Then they all moved to Shanghai, which was where father and Niang had been living for a year so that he could get away from the Jap Soldiers that were demanding to be his business partners. Now they lived there and went to school, Adeline had a few good friends, but they couldn't be so close because she was afraid she would get into trouble with Niang if she were to get caught playing with anyone of them. Then a few years later, big sister got engaged to be married to a man that their father had known his father.
I really feel moved by this story, mainly in that their idea of family is so much different than my experience of a family has been and my impression of a family. It really gives you a sense of what some other families and children are going through around the world, or maybe even right here in our own country. I can really connect with the fact that she had a pet duck that she was practically best friends with, not that I'm best friends with a pet, but I have a dog and a turtle that I too talk to sometimes which she quite often did. I can't really connect with the idea of hating my family though which she did, and that makes me sad and wonder what it would be like living with people that you can't wait to get away from and don't get any attention from ever. I also don't think I could live with the idea that I can't ever be with my friends outside of school because of fright that I will be punished in a big way from my step-mother, and that my biological father wouldn't do anything or try anything to help me or any of my siblings out at all.