Monday 27 August 2012

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

I was sent a copy of "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" by Amy Chua absolutely ages ago so firstly I'd like to apologise for how long it's taken me to get round to reviewing it.

At first I simply scanned through and read snippets with the intention of starting a review that I could add to.

But I got hooked and couldn't stop reading the bit I was on, so I decided I wanted to read it all properly and then review it - after all, it grabbed my attention every time I picked it up to scan through!

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua, review on Emma in BromleyThe problem is, I have two very small people and absolutely no "me time" so it's actually taken me an age to read the whole book as I ended up going back and re-reading bits and on the odd occasion I did find myself with "me time" there was always something more pressing - like laundry... or shaving my arm pits without an audience!

I wanted to review this book as its got quite a lot of hype about it - and to be honest - I expected it to be a conflict of interest, after all, I am a bit of a "hippie mummy" extended breastfeeding, no nasties toiletries, organic food, baby led weaning, free play, unstructured art, baby wearing, no cry bedtimes, co sleeping etc - you get the idea - (my motto is "save the planet, go organic")

I was expecting to pick at this Chinese mother and her pushiness and have nothing in common with her and her parenting techniques.

So you can guess what happened right? I loved it and actually have the same principles in many aspects of parenting!

I expect my children to be high achievers - Blake could count to ten and recognise most letters of the alphabet by the time he was 18months - he learnt this with gentle parenting, lots of reading and counting toys and playing with numbers rather than a very disciplined teaching experience. The outcome is the same.

Although I'm an "Eco mummy" and definitely a western mum I recognise there are some elements of a Chinese mum inside me too!

It was easy to enjoy this book - Amy shares with us arguments and tantrums too - I loved the argument she had with her daughter, trying to get her to try caviar! Although caviar isn't something I'd try and get my little people to eat, I do have the same battle only with organic carrots instead and I share the same expectations of my children respecting and obeying me certainly in public.

Amy pushes both her children to learn music and they are taught within a very structured program, I also believe music is important but where Amy has her children playing violins and pianos at preschool age - I simply let Blake play with his daddy's guitar and a bag of percussion instruments! I fully expect my children to develop and grow a love for music naturally rather than forced and I expect the same outcome as Amy did - to master what they play. (I would like a baby grand piano but we don't have the room or money for one!)

Most importantly - this book made me giggle - its funny! And that is important to both parenting and "me time"

Would I recommend this book?

rrp £7.99 by Bloomsbury

Additional information:
The most talked about book of the year The Sunday Times bestseller The New York Times bestseller Der Spiegel bestseller

Key Features
Author(s) Amy Chua
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Date of Publication 02/02/2012
Language(s) English
Format Paperback
ISBN-10 1408822075
ISBN-13 9781408822074
Genre Pregnancy & Parenting

Publication Data
Place of Publication London
Country of Publication United Kingdom
Imprint Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Author Biography Amy Chua is the John M. Duff Professor of Law at Yale Law School. Her first book, World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability, translated into eight languages, was a New York Times bestseller, an Economist Best Book of the Year and one of the Guardian's Top Political Reads of 2003. Her second book, Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance - and Why They Fall, was a critically acclaimed Foreign Affairs bestseller. Amy Chua has appeared frequently on radio and television and her writing has been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, Harvard Business Review and the Wilson Quarterly. She lives with her husband, two daughters and two Samoyeds in New Haven, Connecticut.

Emma in Bromley x


  1. I read this book last year and I had to say it really made my laugh most of the time. It is sensational and some readers have heatedly declared their dislike of the content. However, the author never said that anyone should follow her, she is merely stating her opinions and experience. To each his or her own I say. I'd certainly recommend it too :0)

  2. Good points MsXpat!
    It's definitely not a parenting instruction manual!
    Glad you enjoyed it too.

    Emma x


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Emma x