Chye Hoon, the main character of this wonderful story, is a strong girl who's constantly struggling with the day-by-day routine in the third part of the world. She dreamed of going to school, but she was supposed to be a cook, and the hardest thing for her to do was to embrace that, along with accepting her Malayan-Chinese "roots". Thankfully, this new life seemed to have its benefits, and between the smell of garlic and the unusual traditions of her people she found peace, joy, and even married a Chinese man.
She gave birth to 10 kids, and together they raised them with love and kindness. And now, she can finally tell the stories that she's been hearing ever since she was a kid - the fascinating tales about men who come from the sea, the warriors, and more. However, that's when the cultural cataclysms begin, and the West starts to slowly, but steadily conquer the hearts and minds of everybody around her.
That puts her legacy, the one and only thing that's precious to her after the kids, in danger. Ironically, it's her children that strive for the Western ideals and want to learn more about the modernized part of the world - they don't really care about traditions anymore. Chye Hoon is desperate, but there's nothing she can really do.
The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds touches on the very important subject of keeping in touch with your ancestral ties and passing them on to your kids. The author did a brilliant job of introducing the readers to a different, exciting culture with all of its vices and virtues while still making it easy enough for the regular folks to understand. It's an emotional, powerful, fundamental novel that will be greatly appreciated by those who love a good story, a strong message and an inspiring heroine.