I listened to an Amy Tan audiobook this month, The Hundred Secret Senses. I engaged in a rollercoaster ride of emotions with the main character, Olivia. The story is basically the releationship between Olivia and her half-sister. Olivia is half Chinese, while her much older half-sister is full Chinese. The story is rich with Chinese culture. I have always felt that I can identify with the characters that Amy Tan writes. Being the product of an American father and Korean mother, I understand the irritating, funny, mystifying, and sometimes maddening experience of a bi-cultural home.
I think the author did a great job of telling a story where you feel invested in the characters. I wanted them all to be happy. I needed to be happy because I had become the main character watching my story unfold. The ending was powerful in case you haven't guessed. I wonder if writers struggle with telling a story ending that will not make everyone happy. Have you read anything lately where the ending surprised you?