Of Anchee Min's novels, I think this is her best written. It makes extraordinary use of two competing voices to tell the story of Madame Mao: an omniscient third-person historian and a severely flawed first-person narrator who already knows her own future. Rarely do books explore the Mao years through the perspective of the women in 'power' and hardly ever in the English canon do we get a glimpse of Mao as a human being with human being flaws.
The prose is clipped and cutting and deep. The story can be read and analyzed from a multitude of perspectives, as a work of literature, as a starting point for historical research, as a script, as a polemic, and much more. I would recommend reading it for the pleasure of a good read, for the purpose of infusing it into the classroom, and/or to gain some cursory historical knowledge of the (Madame) Mao Years.
Due to some of the more mature material, this would do best if used in the older levels.