Finished my second Amy Tan book for the year, and similar to the first, this one left me in tears on more than one occasion. While The Hundred Secret Senses was about the relationship between two sisters, this story was about a mother-daughter relationship, or maybe if I should be more specific, a mother reminiscing her early life, marriage, hardships, and friendships with her daughter, and her daughter sharing her own secrets with her mother. Mother-daughter stories almost always make me cry, and this was no exception! I think my biggest takeaways from the story were these – that almost nothing is greater than a mother’s love, and that it is better to be happily single than unhappily married.
Yes, so many times I wished I were married by now. But the story, which so vividly depicts the horrors of an evil, selfish and sex-crazed husband, and the disappointment of a loveless marriage, reminds me to cherish my present state – that where I am right now, free to pursue my dreams and fancies, surrounded by my loving parents, siblings and friends, holding a stable and meaningful career, working with dedicated colleagues, this is where I’m meant to be, at least in this period of my life, and that I should cherish and enjoy the moments 🙂
I pray one day I’ll meet a man as patient, kind and compassionate as Jimmy Louie, but regardless, I hope I’ll develop the tenacity and strength of character as Winnie to withstand all difficulties in life, and to grab hold of life with undying optimism and the relentless hope that no matter what happens, things can be fixed, and things will turn out well.
And here I leave a short quote I grabbed from the book:
“So I bought that mistake. I fixed it.”
Which basically, to me, means: I owned that circumstance. I made the best of it. I turned things around. I made things better.
Onward to the next story!