The Kitchen God's Wife

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The extraordinary #1 bestseller by the author of The Joy Luck Club--a second novel even more acclaimed than her first. "Remarkable . . . mesmerizing . . . greatly satisfying".--The New York Times Book Review. "Riveting".--Anne Tyler, USA Today.

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Ellyb

Oct 14, 2008

Mothers and Daughters and Secrets

Amy Tan is at the height of her literary powers here, in this wonderful book about secrets, mothers, and daughters. Tan may never exhaust the things she has to say about mother-daughter relationships, and I can't say that's a bad thing, because her stories always ring true. "The Kitchen God's Wife" is no exception. Revolving around the secrets kept by a mother and daughter, it examines the way secrets (specifically, painful secrets) can drive a wedge of opacity between people, even if the secret is meant to protect a loved one. Pearl and her mother Winnie find each other harder and harder to understand, each trying to protect the other from the painful truths they are carrying.
Finally, Winnie's hand is forced by her old friend and secret-keeper, who declares she will tell all if Winnie does not. Thus begins the major section of the book, in which Winnie narrates to her daughter the truth about her life in China prior to her flight to America. The experiences that Winnie lived through are horrific and yet believable. I never felt that Tan was merely trying to pull emotional strings or manipulate the reader in any way. Considering the pain held in these pages, this is quite impressive. It is not an easy thing to do without becoming heavy-handed.
I loved this book. It was vivid, full of joy, and ultimately satisfying.

Selina

Oct 10, 2007

A must read

This is a powerful book dealing with the relationship between mother ond daughter. Winnie and Pearl are very likeable characters. Amy Tan has a beautiful way of writing. It is a great joy to be reading her words. Sometimes the narrative almost soulds like poetry.

This is an entertaining book, full of great characters. This is one of Tan's best work.

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