59 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
An eye opening book, 25 Oct. 2003
I was intrigued by this book as I wanted to learn more about the role of women in chinese society. I was dismayed at how women were kept ignorant of basic facts of life and the emotional aspects of sexual relationships. Chinese woman have been emotionally castrated by decades of subserviance. The chinese characters for woman, girl and especially son give some insight into the value of women in China.
The characters for Female + Housework = Woman
Female + Tradition + Kindness = Girl
Female + Son = Good...
I was reduced to tears by some of the tales told by Xinran. I found the chapter "The women of Shouting Hill" particularly moving. It helped me to better appreciate how much better off I am despite any problems I may be experiencing in my life. It brought back memories, some painful, of my own upbringing. I moved a tiny step closer to understanding how life might have been for my mother as a young woman and has helped me realise the possible reasons why the "bond" between us is strained.