The Immoderate Temper of Mrs. Chen's Daughter is the story of a woman who knows how to use a cleaver. It is an exploration of the Chinese proverb "to hit is to kiss, to curse is to love". It is a tale of China and Jews, of passion and politics, of revolution and mah-jongg.
The author has traveled extensively in China. In this novel he writes of a time when Chinese history and Jewish history collide in the Shanghai ghetto. One reader called it a cross between Portnoy's Complaint and Kill Bill. If you enjoyed The Good Earth, Wild Swans, The Tin Drum, or The Painted Bird, this book belongs on your listening list.
One doesn't often make a connection between Jews and China except of course when it comes to eating Chinese food on Christmas. This story helped me understand a lot about what life may have been like for the Jews who found refuge in China to escape the nazi regime. It also gave me a lot more insight into Chinese history as well. I enjoyed the vivid descriptions except when it came to details of severed limbs and such. I had trouble reading the many gory details. Overall this is a fantastic read.