I'll attribute the success of the book to the author Amy Tan, who does a wonderful job of writing a book which deals with the relationship between a mother and her daughter and between the mother and the grand-mother.

The plot might look boring, but the content is so very good that I couldn't keep the book down. Very brilliantly written and the idea of using diary entries, though not new, was very well made use of.

The superstitions surrounding the people in the Chinese village of Immortal Heart and the family feuds form the crux of the story.

The book almost switches between the life of the daughter and that of her mother (told via her diary).
Initially, you get a picture of the relationship between the daughter and her mother and later, after the revelations in the diaries, you get a totally different, almost hidden view of their relation, which the daughter herself discovers via the diaries. The change in her feelings upon the diary's discovery are very well handled.

Then there is also the relation between the grandmother and the mother, which is mostly dominated by the family feud and the traditional blind faiths. This particular relationship, though very different from the former in its outlook, has a startling resemblance when it comes to the meaning. It was almost like a repeat of the relationships but only if you look deeply into it. The details were very cautiously handled and frankly, this is an example of brilliant writing skills.

By: Amy Tan
Essence: biography, diaries, mother-daughter relation, life, superstitions, hope, despair.