The best book I've ever read was Anchee Min's personal memoir, Red Azalea, so forgive me if this is a biased review.
I lucked out today and picked up a reserved copy of Wild Ginger (it's not supposed to be out for another two weeks) and spent the evening devouring it. Without having the craft of describing thoughts as the author does I feel inadequate to review this book but I feel compelled to do so anyway, while trying to give none of the story away.
Anchee Min has an amazing rawness, honesty and passion that is at the same time simplistic (although to say it is simple is, I think, demeaning) and penetrating. She doesn't seem to build up the plot or the characters as most novelists do to make the drama more intense. Rather she lets the personalities and storylines speak for themselves - which I would say is an understatement because this is one of her outstanding talents, but I don't know how else to say it.
This is the most realistic fiction I've ever read. She's certainly bringing real memories and experiences into play and the effect is like reading a fascinating memoir. The book is alive from beginning to end.
This a candid look at the personal side of China's Cultural Revolution. Although focused highly around Mao's teachings and the effects they had on the people, it goes much deeper as do her other books, getting deep into personalities, ideas, passions, friendships, love, families, regrets and so on..... so that people with little interest or knowledge of this era can still find it a gripping, delightful work of art.