This is a story about Minli that is written in a fashion that echoes ancient Chinese tales. The general story is about Minli and her search for an icon that will provide her with the wealth she seeks so that she can finally see her mother happy. Minli’s mother is never happy and bitter that they are barely subsisting on the food and shelter they have. Minli sets off on her quest for wealth without her parents’ knowledge or consent, and they are heartbroken without her. Eventually Minli’s mother comes to the realization that she should not be miserable because they do not have material things and that all that really matters are those that she loves. Meanwhile, Minli, on her voyage, meets various characters who all help her to gain the wealth she seeks, but also help her to grow emotionally as well.
The story of Minli’s journey is interwoven with ancient Chinese tales that are told by various people which influence characters’ choices, particularly Minli and her parents. Minli’s tale is meant to show that wealth is not monetary, but should be measured in love and kindness, as that is all that really matters. It is an interesting book but not quite my genre or style. I found it a bit pedantic and predictable. However, it is a good book for people to read to get a flavor of Chinese folklore.