I read this awhile ago and could think of nothing to respond. Overall, not my favorite book. Fine to read with the kids someday to satiate some interest in the historical aspect of the time. But overall no real "meat" to talk about. I would agree with Kelly that it was a bit far fetched (a bit being sarcastic). Still, I was interested to note that it was loosely based on the author's real experiences.
I have also been reading The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck and find it a bit fascinating. Both books together have sparked my interest in Chinese history. The culture is so foreign to me.
Sorry, not much of a response, but it is 2am here! (I've been painting while J. is away and the kids are asleep . . . I too shall follow them now!)