I have a tendency to be out of step with the rest of the world, which explains why I just finished Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club. Despite the fact that it was a best seller when it came out in 1989, and indeed, a well-received movie, I finally got around to reading the book. Kinda by accident.
At my local library, there's a separate bin on the way out for free items. I always check the bin, and about half a year ago, I found The Joy Luck Club in paperback there. As I am big on messages from G-d coming at me from all directions, I picked up the book and took it as a message from On High that it was time to read the book.
I know it sounds crazy, but there's no denying that if I hadn't found the book this way, I probably would not have read it.
Well, it was a great book. Unsettling at first, since the Chinese culture is so different from my own. But human suffering, well, that has no cultural boundaries, and I related to these women, generations actually, who suffered physically and mentally at both their own hands and the hands of others.
Then I made the mistake of watching the movie. Oh my gosh, cried like a baby. I knew it was going to happen, and thank G-d the children didn't see me because they feel I cry too much. But I was totally moved.
So if you haven't read the book (which I advise before the movie), don't hesitate. Tan is an exceptional writer, taking the stories of Chinese people and making them universal. But then again, we're all connected, all related anyway.