At times it can be a bit overbearing and in the beginning it is interesting to learn about the Mandarin system it is a bit dry. However, it certainly builds up when the narrator and the author starts to talk about her own life and the experiences she and her family go through. It is quite a magnum opus of a work, and very disheartening at times. However, the end could be considered happy since family does stick together though thick and thin. I enjoyed reading this for my senior seminar, but the beginning does drag on for a bit.