Review: Listen to the Squawking Chicken by Elaine Lui

squawking-chicken-coverThis year, I’ve tried to make a bigger effort to be open-minded about nonfiction. My reading list tends to be strictly fantasy and science fiction, and in most cases, part of the young adult genre. Over the years, I’ve associated nonfiction, biographies or memoirs to be mundane pieces of literature—chronicling lives of the dead or white-haired politicians. Sometimes, I won’t bother because the busier the person the less likely they would have written the book themselves. Despite having their name on the book, a lot of the time they have ghost writers do the work for them.

Nowadays, popular celebrities or people who appear in the media are more attention grabbing, especially the ones you can relate to or feel loyal to, such as Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Ellen DeGeneres, Lena Dunham, Kunal Nayyar, Mindy Kaling, Felicia Day, and Malala Yousafzai. What do all these people have in common? Well, first, I’ve listed these people because I’m genuinely interested in reading their books and learning more about them. I also love humour in my books and a lot of them are funny people, meanwhile others just have a fascinating story to te


I was first introduced to Elaine Lui via The Social, a Canadian talk show reminiscent of the American talk show The View. She’s actually my favourite host on the show because she has a fiery presence and she doesn’t sugar coat her words, saying what many people are too afraid to say. Ever since I’ve heard about her book Listen to the Squawking Chicken (when mother knows best, what’s a daughter to do?), I’ve wanted to read it.

I loved the book so much that I finished the book in two days. It was both funny and very informative. I really enjoyed learning about Chinese culture and the interesting lessons Elaine learned throughout her life. Also, my primary goal for my website/blog is to feature remarkable, memorable, strong women. It was refreshing to read about a mother, Elaine’s mother, who was determined, strong-willed, and often times outspoken. We live in a world that expects women to be delicate and soft spoken. As well, Chinese culture and society is very traditional but Elaine’s mother is the kind of person who often times swims upstream instead of giving into anyone’s expectations. She’s loud and speaks her mind openly, even finding respect from intimidating gangsters in her hometown.


The novel shows a strong bond between a mother and daughter. While it may not seem like affectionate love as some reviewers have noted, I think Elaine and her mother still love each other very much and prove to us that even tough love is still a form of love and support.

Rating: 5/5