One of things that I love about this novel is the narration. The best example is Jing Mei's narration. In the first chapter, the voice shifts from Jing Mei to her mother. Jing Mei's tone is causal and conversational while Suyauan tone is more formal and descriptive. This makes sense; the mothers represent tradition and intutative learning while the daughters represent current thought and direct instruction.
Each of the mother and respective daughter has a distinct voice but are tied together by a common theme: the events of the past affect the daughters.