[Book Review] Listen to the Squawking Chicken by Elaine Lui

Squawking ChickenElaine Lui, or as many of us know her, Lainey, has been gabbing about celebrities for quite some time on her popular blog Lainey Gossip. Rather than just sharing a couple of pictures about celebs with a small blurb, Lainey’s become known for sharing her opinions about gossip in thought provoking and often hilarious written essays. With all the success she’s had in her career, we Lainey fans were thrilled to hear that she was writing a memoir.  Well… kind of. You see, she’s written a  memoir about her Mother, whom she refers to as the squawking chicken, which is why her memoir is titled, Listen to the Squawking ChickenWhen Mother Knows Best, What’s a Daughter To Do? A Memoir (Sort Of).

I’ll start my review with a  quote from Lainey,

Most people think I’m exaggerating at first when I talk about the Chinese Squawking Chicken. But once they actually spend some time with her, they understand. They get it. Right away. She’s Chinese, she squawks like a chicken, she is totally nuts, and I am totally dependent on her.

I couldn’t wait to dip into Listen to the Squawking Chicken and after only a few pages, I knew that I wasn’t going to put it down until I finished the entire thing. We’re given the back story of the ‘Squawking Chicken’ and I’ll be honest and say that it wasn’t an easy story to read. Her childhood wasn’t ideal but it definitely helped her create a “wailing siren” of a voice. She became strong, independent and was hell-bent on instilling the same values in her only daughter. Their Chinese culture also played a big role in Lainey’s upbringing, it still does. If you’re like me, you’ll thoroughly enjoy learning about the different traditions that their family practices to honour their culture. One example that I found really interesting was that the Squawking Chicken doesn’t call Lainey on her birthday… Lainey’s expected to call her Mother to thank her for giving her life and guidance. If you think about it, it actually makes way more sense than one would think.

Lainey has an intricate way of painting her Mother with a brush that describes her as firm, yet endearing. She shares the blunt advice her Mother provides, but always makes sure to point out that her Mother is always right. Whether it be what fruit she should consume each morning or how to feng shui her home, she does a beautiful job at ensuring the reader that her Mother really does know best.

With the Squawking Chicken’s guidance and lessons of fearfulness, Lainey was raised to speak up. To be heard. And as many of her fans know, she’s done exactly that with her career. This sort-of memoir is a tribute to the women that taught her what it means to be loud. Listen to the Squawking Chicken is a touching Mother-Daughter memoir that will have you picking up a copy for yourself, your Mom and your Best Friend.

Follow Lainey on Twitter @LaineyGossip

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3 thoughts on “[Book Review] Listen to the Squawking Chicken by Elaine Lui

  1. tanya (52 books or bust) says:

    I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. When you first sent it to me I thought it wasn’t my cup of tea – but I loved it! It was funny and insightful and not gossipy at all. Thanks! And I love the new look of your blog. Almost makes me want to change my design.

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