Chinese Cinderella

Chinese Cinderella

Aunt Reine is Niang’s older sister, mother of Claudine and Victor, and Adeline’s aunt. Aunt Reine and her family rescues Adeline from Tianjin and the Communists by taking her with them aboard a ferry destined for Hong Kong. Although Adeline assumes that Aunt Reine will be just like Niang, she quickly discovers that her aunt is quite the opposite. Aunt Reine treats Adeline as if she were one of her own children, a stark contrast to Niang’s blatant favoritism. When, aboard the ferry, it is clear that someone will have to sleep on a low cot instead of an uncomfortable bed, Aunt Reine determines that they will draw lots for it. Aunt Reine herself draws, opening the possibility that, even though she is an authority figure, she may be humbled to the least comfortable accommodation. This is a shock to Adeline, who is so accustomed to Niang’s unbridled narcissism that she cannot fathom a mother figure who is not domineering and selfish. Aunt Reine and her family play the critical part of demonstrating to Adeline what a healthy, normally-functioning family can look. The days that Adeline spends aboard the ferry with Aunt Reine and her family are some of the happiest of her young life. However, in the presence of Niang, Aunt Reine does not object to the unequal treatment of Adeline, indicating that she, too, unfortunately falls subject to Niang’s power. After arriving in Hong Kong and visiting for a week, Aunt Reine and her family travel on to Geneva.

Aunt Reine Quotes in Chinese Cinderella

The Chinese Cinderella quotes below are all either spoken by Aunt Reine or refer to Aunt Reine . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Physical and Emotional Abuse Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Ember edition of Chinese Cinderella published in 2010.
Chapter 16: Hong Kong Quotes

Claudine became alarmed. “Mama, how often does a ship sink?” she asked.

Before Aunt Reine had time to reply, Victor quipped with a straight face, “Only once!”

…then Victor did something my brothers would never have done. How took off his life jacket, slipped it on his sister, and showed her how to adjust the straps.

Page Number: 141
Explanation and Analysis:
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That was how [Aunt Reine’s] family treated me throughout the time I spent with them. They made me feel as if I were their third child. For the first time in my life, I did not automatically get the short end of the sick but was given an equal share, just like Victor and Claudine.

Page Number: 142
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

“It’s so unfair,” Victor continued. “Why doesn’t [Adeline] get to go anywhere with us?”

“That’s just the way it is!” Niang exclaimed sharply. “You either get in now and come with us, or you can stay home with her. Suit yourself!”

“In that case,” Victor replied gallantly, “I think I’ll stay and keep Adeline company.”

Page Number: 156
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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Aunt Reine Character Timeline in Chinese Cinderella

The timeline below shows where the character Aunt Reine appears in Chinese Cinderella. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 15: Boarding School in Tianjin
Physical and Emotional Abuse Theme Icon
Coming of Age and Self-Worth Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...Baba but a foreign-looking woman in a Western suit who tells Adeline that she is Aunt Reine Schilling , Niang’s older sister. Aunt Baba remains in Tianjin. According to Aunt Reine, she has... (full context)
Friendship Theme Icon
Aunt Reine strokes Adeline’s hair and tries to comfort her, telling Adeline that she will join Aunt... (full context)
Physical and Emotional Abuse Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
They leave the school, seeing the city streets deserted except for young Communist soldiers. Aunt Reine explains that Chiang Kai-shek’s army simply gave up the city and fled southward. Big Sister... (full context)
Chapter 16: Hong Kong
Friendship Theme Icon
...may sink at any moment. Claudine is somewhat alarmed by this joke, though Adeline and Aunt Reine laugh. Victor surprises Adeline by taking the life jacket off and teaching Claudine how to... (full context)
Friendship Theme Icon
The room shared by Adeline, Claudine, and Aunt Reine only has two beds until a ship steward finds a thin cot to lay on... (full context)
Friendship Theme Icon
...and not the unwanted daughter of her own vicious parents and siblings. She daydreams about Aunt Reine adopting her and living with them forever, never having to see Niang again. “Then I…remember... (full context)
Physical and Emotional Abuse Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...in Hong Kong, but Father and Niang are not at the dock to meet them. Aunt Reine ’s family and Adeline pile into a cab with their belongings and drive through the... (full context)
Physical and Emotional Abuse Theme Icon
Toxic Family Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...several maids appear in a flurry of activity. None of Adeline’s family acknowledges her, but Aunt Reine ’s family does not notice in the commotion. Taking her suitcase into the apartment, Adeline... (full context)
Coming of Age and Self-Worth Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
Ye Ye and Adeline rejoin the rest of the family in the living room, where Aunt Reine is revealing all of the diamonds she had smuggled out of Tianjin in the lining... (full context)
Physical and Emotional Abuse Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
The next day, Aunt Reine ’s family walks from their hotel to Adeline’s family’s house for breakfast and to make... (full context)
Toxic Family Theme Icon
Each day for the rest of the week, Niang takes Aunt Reine ’s family on outings into the city, always inviting Ye Ye but never inviting Adeline.... (full context)
Physical and Emotional Abuse Theme Icon
Toxic Family Theme Icon
Friendship Theme Icon
...being unfair leaving Adeline behind every day, and that today she will be home alone. Aunt Reine pointedly does not take a side. Niang angrily tells Victor that he can get in... (full context)
Chapter 17: Boarding School in Hong Kong
Physical and Emotional Abuse Theme Icon
Coming of Age and Self-Worth Theme Icon
Though Adeline had hoped that she might get to see Aunt Reine ’s family off when they left for Geneva, Father is in such a rush to... (full context)