The book follows the life of Ruth, a ghostwriter, born to a Chinese woman and an American doctor who died when she was little girl.
It follows her frustration; growing with an uneducated Chinese mother who spoke little English in America, and questions stemming from the age long infusion of curses into every misfortune by her Chinese mother.
This absolutely beautiful book tells of the unbridled resentment one feels towards the other as well as the bond of love betwixt them.
Subsequently, Ruth’s mother, Liu LuLing was diagnosed with dementia, and in her sick state, secrets about her past and other half-truths were revealed. This is coupled with her diary which Ruth had been unable to translate for a long time.
The book took a twist into the early life of Ruth and depicts constant embarrassment by her mother as well as loneliness and rebellion.
In translation of Liu LuLing’s diary, her early childhood in a small town was detailed. Where the prominent figure was ‘Precious Aunty’, her nursemaid, who by twist of fate, was also her mother, following a series of unfortunate events which Precious Aunty believed to be as a result of an ancestral curse.
It follows LuLing’s exposure as a bastard and her guilt over the death of Precious Aunty. As her dementia intensified, so did the flashes of memory.
The author tells a story so beautiful about family and love. Of hope and misfortune and the strength of one woman to overcome obstacles in a hopeless world. It tells of the love between mother and daughter, sister and sister, shadowed by the workings of the past and a deep rooted frustration of one and the other.
It ended, however, in the most beautiful way possible; secrets revealed, questions answered, hope rekindled… And everybody coming to the realization that life was much more meaningful when the struggles of others are understood and appreciated.
Have you read this amazingly beautiful book? What do you think? And if you haven’t, does this review encourage you to?
In my quest to read at least two books every month, expect more reviews!
And stay tuned for my ‘Personal Lessons Learnt from The Bonesetter’s Daughter’ over the weekend!