This is only the second Amy Tan's book I've read but I'm so very tempted to say that it is the 'typical' Amy Tan's book. By this I mean, to start with the 'westernised' Chinese daughter and then diving in to the story of the mother's chinese background / past.The first few chapters set the atmosphere of the strained relationships between mother & daughter and hints at the secrets each held from the other. The main body of the book is of the mother telling the story of how she comes to be who & where she is in life. Being abandoned by one's mother, sent away to live with relatives, being trapped in a long marriage to an unbearable man, and finally as soon as the cage is open, she flew. A story of hope & courage... and of course, of love.