Forged From Silver Dollar is a family memoir by Li Feng that could also be renamed, Who Do You Think You Are? The story focuses on four generations of women in Feng’s family (including the author herself). It is the ultimate, underdog tale that chronicles the deprivation, humiliation, hunger and homelessness that these strong women endured and their later triumphs over adversity.

Feng’s story is an inspiring and epic one. It is set in Mao’s China and it describes his rise and downfall. Feng does an excellent job of providing the historic context and backdrop in which her family lived in as well as weaving in her own personal account and story.

The tale begins with the formidable “Silver Dollar” who was sold into a loveless marriage at age 12. She was subjected to abuse and a difficult life thanks to her mother-in-law but her triumph was that she raised three independent and successful sons, Fu, Shou Shan and Shou. Her second son, Shou Shan was a wealthy landlord who would be later executed by communist forces but he did marry another resilient woman in Ming Xiu. The latter had five children of her own with Shou Shan and was forced with the devastating decision of having to separate and adopt out multiple kids after his death.

Ming Xiu did retain custody of her daughter Rong who suffered from ill-health, poverty and being declared a social outcast. Eventually Rong would channel a lot of optimism and energy into being a tiger mum and expecting the best from her daughter, the book’s author, Li Feng. The latter had to employ unconditional sacrifice and absolute mental focus at her mother’s direction and she did succeed, both in her birthplace of Chengdu, China and her adopted home of Australia.

Forged From Silver Dollar is a dramatic story that features the trials and tribulations of four smart and resilient women who overcame the odds to flourish. The story is heart-breaking but also easy-to-read and informative and the simple yet poetic prose does hook you in. Forged From Silver Dollar is ultimately an exciting and inspiring read about love, loss and inner strength.


***Please note: a free copy of this book was given to the writer through a The Reading Room giveaway. To read the original review on that website please visit:


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