Wallace had an interesting quote about how an American audience might think the music sounds Chinese, but that a Chinese audience would find the music rather American. He insisted that the music is American without being Chinoiserie.
And in a preview, the librettist and noted author Amy Tan on parallels in the opera:
Tan soon turned serious about the connections between her own intense, suicidally inclined mother, who developed Alzheimer's late in her life, and the congruent mother figure in "The Bonesetter's Daughter." Tan's grandmother did commit suicide, an impulse shared by the opera's Precious Auntie.