From the first page of his book, Dr. Jack Tan leaves no doubt about who he considers responsible for his life and continued business success in the Singapore accounting sector: his mother.
Managing family affairs while his father worked outside the home, his beloved mother gave birth to Tan on a propitious date: January 1, the first day of the New Year. But all was not well with this newborn. Tan had severe diarrhea, and his poor health caused grave concern for his doctors and family. Baby Tan would pull through, but recovery was slow, and he battled loneliness on his way to better health.
Most of his book is devoted to showing how a person can use a condition, such as loneliness, as motivation for setting and achieving goals. Tan is particularly fond of the imagery of the butterfly struggling to get out of its cocoon–even with no guarantee of success. This is also true for setting one’s life goals, Tan writes. Successful outcomes are not guaranteed, but it’s critical to strive in a way that maintains a balanced life and cultivates family values.
Throughout this book, Tan circles back to his earliest years of poor health, which can seem repetitive. Still, readers with similar circumstances will empathize with his condition, and those who value stories of underdogs triumphing will also find this memoir inspiring.
Unfortunately, the book’s writing issues make this a challenging read. The narrative is replete with grammar issues, such as mismatched pronouns (the author oscillates between referring to himself as “I” and “Dr. Jack Tan”) and tenses, as well as puzzling sentences: “I felt sorry for him not to tell me after his China trip with a friend stays in in [sic] the next point block at Ang Mo Kio HDB estate.”
While My Mother’s Love tells of a touching legacy only a mother’s love can leave behind, it requires editing for grammar, clarity and other technical issues.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.