Trials of Life is the sequel to The Same Moon, which I truly enjoyed, and I'd highly recommend be read prior to this one, as it follows the main character - Pearl, in her quest to the West.
The style of writing is different in this one with shifting POVs. This goes against most of the conventional rules I've learned about writing, yet, once I settled into the story, this was not an issue as the plot drew me in.
We learn of Pearl's education in the West ---not all of it is good, and this story centers around a particularly bad part of it. The underlying theme, however, still touches on the immigrant experience for many who move to a new country in search of "a better life." Pearl learns that although some things are better, the road is not all welcoming.
This is a well-told story of Pearl's trials in a new world, and how along the way, she anchors herself to her new home with what is really important.