Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this book-based drama set in both present-day and 19th-century China explores complicated but sustaining friendships among women. In some ways, it's an uplifting tale that teens might find interesting, but the storytelling is uneven, and some themes/plot lines -- opium addiction, persecution, pervasive repression of women -- may be too intense for younger viewers. There's some drinking and period-accurate substance abuse; one scene of a married couple having sex shows a man atop a woman, with his naked back visible.
A husband and wife have sex; viewers see a man on top of a woman, his naked back visible. Some grunting and moaning. Another man kisses a woman's bound feet. References to a character getting a girl pregnant. One passionate kiss.
A man drags his wife off and hits her -- viewers don't see much of the actual beating, though she's shown with bruises and a puffy face afterward. A character is hospitalized after a bike accident. References to war and the chaos and despair it creates. Some yelling. Pervasive repression of women pervades the storyline; women's feet are bound when they're kids, hobbling them both literally and figuratively.
Women give each other support and friendship that sustains them through strained marriages and tragedies in a society that doesn't consider them equals to their husbands, fathers, and brothers.
Drugs / Tobacco /
A man is shown getting high on an opium pipe. Some social drinking in restaurants and bars; two women get inebriated after taking shots.