So, I hate when I keep books on my 'TBR' list for so long that I regret waiting so long to read them. I loved the movie, so I knew the book would be even better. After having read the book, it is better (of course), but doesn't take away from the movie.
This is a book about mothers and daughters. About the generation gap, cultural gap, and language gap between the Chinese born mothers and their American born daughters.
It's sad in some ways because it seems as their their relationships are base on obligation more so than love. The mother's wanted so badly for their daughters to be worth something and to have nice things and better opportunities in America, that they waited to long to instill their Chinese beliefs/wisdom in them. Which was very much to the detriment of the daughters. The girls (for a time) only care about being American and fitting it with their American peers. And it wasn't until later in all of their lives that they realized what they had missed out on.
The mother's obviously loved their daughters very much; however, the way the showed it was so foreign to the girls that they really had no clue; all they saw was harassment, disappointment, embarrassment... Their stories, which were life lessons, seemed like nothing but fairy stories from the "old country". The two generations were battling a language gap, not because the daughters spoke English where their mothers spoke Mandarin or Cantonese, but because they spoke the languages of two separate generations from two different countries.
The mothers clung so much to the old ways, except where raising their daughter's were concerned and by the time they realized what they had done (or not done) it was too late. And the daughters never paid attention to the lessons that they were taught. And by the time they realized that they were lessons, it was too late.
The mothers and daughters spoke to one another, but it all seemed to get lost in translation. As was said in the book, the daughters would hear less than what their mothers had said, and the mother's would always hear much more than what their daughters had actually said.
They were all broken, emotionally injured in some way or another, and because none of them had learned to communicate with each other, it was near in possible to help. It was beautiful and so very sad, especially for me as a mother of two daughters. I hope that I have learned to not only speak clearly, but hear what my daughters say.