Several years ago, when my husband and I were thinking of adopting a daughter from China, a friend recommended that we read this well written book to help us understand the culture.
Below is the product description from Amazon. I have bolded the sentence that summarizes the book. -Julie
Blending the intimacy of memoir and the panoramic sweep of eyewitness history, Wild Swanshas become a bestselling classic in thirty languages, with more than ten million copies sold. The story of three generations in twentieth-century China, it is an engrossing record of Mao's impact on China, an unusual window on the female experience in the modern world, and an inspiring tale of courage and love.
Jung Chang describes the life of her grandmother, a warlord's concubine; her mother's struggles as a young idealistic Communist; and her parents' experience as members of the Communist elite and their ordeal during the Cultural Revolution. Chang was a Red Guard briefly at the age of fourteen, then worked as a peasant, a "barefoot doctor," a steelworker, and an electrician. As the story of each generation unfolds, Chang captures in gripping, moving -- and ultimately uplifting -- detail the cycles of violent drama visited on her own family and millions of others caught in the whirlwind of history.