Mom read this book in her book club and every time I talked to her, she asked me if I had read it. She described the plot, and from what I could tell, it sounded really depressing. Her description, which is fairly accurate, went something like this: It's the story of two girls in pre-communist China. And they communicate by writing secret messages back and forth on a fan. The book tells the story of their lives including all about how they have their feet bound and are married off to strangers.
I wasn't all that jazzed to read a depressing story, so after she loaned it to me, it sat on my shelf for a while. When I got around to reading it, I found it very compelling. To learn about a culture so different from my own from an insider's perspective, without judgment. Not even A Thousand Splendid Suns really did that (although I liked that book too).
Anyway, the book is a bit depressing, but at the same time, it's fascinating and heartwarming.