Ava Teague I read right through this book! I'm surprised others found it less engaging. It is long, but I thought the plot and setting were fascinating.
Margaret Moller I am about a quarter of the way through it and what I'm finding most difficult is the heartbreaking sexual abuse and misogyny of Chinese culture. Tan doesn't sugarcoat anything. I find it to be a fascinating story, and plan on picking it up again to find out how Violet gets out of the courtesan's life, if ever. (I'm assuming, and hoping, that she does.)
Marcy I'm surprised by what others said about this book. I found it compulsively readable, thoroughly enjoyed it. The mother-daughter relationships in partciular were wonderful.
Marlee Pinsker Yes, I felt this way, too. I enjoyed exploring the theme of people trying to fit their own stories into the stories of their families. We all need to know where we stand in the narrative of our lives and the background helps. The book needed editing, but it was interesting to me all along.