It is a heavy read, following multiple generations of hardship and turmoil. There's a charm to the characters being connected through music, specifically classical music, but the music is also crucial to the plot development considering how the cultural revolution would redefine "the art of the people".
The storytelling is strong, so strong that I sometimes had to pause mid chapter to take a breath and introspect on my own life and my extended family. The author really is a master of historical fiction and the craft of this intricate novel is a marvel. I sometimes felt a bit too shaken around with the frequent jumps in the narrative timeline, but each section had its own life and I eventually learned to enjoy the dance.