I was greatly touched by the moving story,a real page-turner! But sometimes I just had to lay it aside to cope with my emotions. Sometimes tears, othertimes laugh-out-loud amusement and at times just to allow my heart to slow down to normal. Being of Chinese origin, the wonderful descriptive way with words Anhua Gao has, easily allowed me to imagine myself in her situation. I experienced the pain, just like the millions of other Chinese who suffered the same disaster under Mao's cruel regime. Anyone in the West who wants to know China better should read this book and use it as the best reference book for their research. The book tells you what really happened during the second half of the 20th century, and how it affected one tiny woman. Born in the same year the Communists took power in China, she knew nothing other than the official Party line. Although Mao has been dead for over twenty years, his teachings are still the dominant force behind Chinese Communist Party thinking. Fortunately, most Chinese people have now realized how evil Mao was and no longer believe in Communism. This is the best book I have ever read. And I know you will enjoy it too. But be warned,it will shock you to your core, and it is not for the squeamish.I recommend this book to all my friends...and so will you.