The book is a series of essays/stories throughout her life and about her life and writing. Although the book is extremely well written and has some interesting thoughts in it, I find Amy Tan a little full of herself and pretty pretentious when expressing her views on various subjects. There are also numerous times when she repeats stories (although this is probably because she writes the book in essay style which I didn't particularly care for). Here's a good example of a statement I found ridiculously uptight: "Many writers think sarcasm is a clever way to show intelligence. But more mature writers know that mean-spiritedness is wearying and limited in its one-dimensional point of view." What I don't understand is... since when is sarcasm used SERIOUSLY? Her view of sarcastic writing just doesn't make sense. To make a long story short (unlike the book), I finished it... and didn't struggle through it (unless by struggle you mean... disagree with what is written) and I found that I don't particularly like this writer as a person. I do however think she has a great writing style and she can clearly tell a story. If you can get over her pretentious attitude, then read it.