Ton de Vries, Grace Chow's husband, writes in and provides us with his personal insight into Grace's motivations and feelings, especially with regards to her family.
We are honoured by his visit.
This is Grace's husband, Ton. Just found this discussion on Grace and wanted to explain that you should see the 'mediocre' thing in a broader perspective.
Grace wrote in her book about her life in Singapore, about moving to Netherlands and adjusting to Dutch society, about her illness, Dutch health care but also about music, politics, love, freedom. She found freedom in the Netherlands and wrote about the differences in freedom between her life in Singapore and her life in Netherlands.
She found the political climate in the Netherlands liberating, there is much more diversity in opinions and more opportunity to speak out. In the book there is a World Press Freedom Ranking of countries in which Netherlands is number 1 and Singapore 144 (out of 166), even below Sudan, Uganda and Congo!
She also found more personal freedom and more emotional support than she had experienced in Singapore. My parents for instance are much less strict in their opinions, listened to her instead of saying what she should do, encouraging her to develop herself instead of telling her what to do (she usually heard in Singapore: stick to what everybody does, take the road most taken, look for material things). The emotional support she lacked in Singapore and found in the Netherlands made her use her qualities and gave her, despite the illness, the enrgy to write her book and her blog. This is not to so that her parents are bad people, they are not. People are the way they are, you should not judge them, but except them as they are. You can however realize how the way people who are often most close to you, your parents, behave influence your life. And that influence was in general more negative than positive.
So do not take the 'mediocre' as an insult or as a reason not to be interested in her or the book. See it as a way to express the difference between her Singapore life and her life in the Netherlands. She realized that her family and Singapore as a whole prevented her from being happy, from fullfilling her deepest wishes.
If you read the book, you may differ of opinion with Grace. But I'm sure you will find the way she writes about these issues, will appeal to you too.
Hope this explained it all a bit.