This took me aaages to get through. Wow, a great book but seriously intense. Its a tough book because of all the hardship and general lack of positivity, but perhaps thats what keeps a person reading - you just hope that things get better. Not knowing much about China and communism I found all the political aspects a little confusing but the personal history of Jung Chang is so inspiring. I found the stories of her Grandmother particularly interesting. I feel the book has expanded my thinking and I would definitely recommend it, but if you read it be prepared for some dark moments.