A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The new novel from the internationally bestselling author of 'The Joy Luck Club'. In fin de siecle Shanghai, Violet Minturn grows up at Hidden Jade Path, the city's most exclusive courtesan house. But when revolution comes, she is separated from her mother and forced to become a "virgin courtesan." Both Chinese and ...Read MoreA NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The new novel from the internationally bestselling author of 'The Joy Luck Club'. In fin de siecle Shanghai, Violet Minturn grows up at Hidden Jade Path, the city's most exclusive courtesan house. But when revolution comes, she is separated from her mother and forced to become a "virgin courtesan." Both Chinese and American, Violet moves between these cultural worlds, becoming a shrewd businesswoman who deals in seduction and illusion. But her successes belie her private turmoil. Violet's need for answers propels her on a quest of discovery: a journey to make sense of her life, to right the wrongs of the past - to find love requited. Spanning fifty years and two continents, 'The Valley of Amazement' dramatises the collapse of China's imperial dynasty and the secret life of the courtesan house. Unfolding old family secrets, this novel returns readers to the compelling territory of 'The Joy Luck Club'. With her characteristic wisdom, grace and humour, she conjures a story of the inheritance of love, its mysteries and betrayals, and its illusions and truths.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2014-02-24 In Tan's novel, Violet Minturn, the daughter of the American madam of the premiere courtesan house in Shanghai, experiences life quite differently from other children. Her privileged lifestyle provides opportunities, but like her mother before her, Violet must grapple with history, lovers, and family life. In this audio edition, the use of three narrators is well executed. Each reader provides a strong vocal representation of the characters. Although Tan's performance is solid, she sometimes doesn't have the skill and flair demonstrated by Wu and Bean, who offer up more nuanced readings. Still, Tan's performance more than does justice to her novel and its characters. An Ecco hardcover. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 2013-07-29 In her first novel since 2009's Saving Fish from Drowning, Tan again explores the complex relationships between mothers and daughters, control and submission, tradition and new beginnings. Jumping from bustling Shanghai to an isolated village in rural China to San Francisco at the turn of the 19th century, the epic story follows three generations of women pulled apart by outside forces. The main focus is Violet, once a virgin courtesan in one of the most reputable houses in Shanghai, who faces a series of crippling setbacks: the death of her first husband from Spanish influenza, a second marriage to an abusive scam artist, and the abduction of her infant daughter, Flora. In a series of flashbacks toward the book's end, Violet's American mother, Lulu, is revealed to have suffered a similar and equally disturbing fate two decades earlier. The choice to cram the truth behind Lulu's sexually promiscuous adolescence in San Francisco, her life as a madam in Shanghai, and Violet's reunion with a grown Flora into the last 150 pages makes the story unnecessarily confusing. Nonetheless, Tan's mastery of the lavish world of courtesans and Chinese customs continues to transport. Agent: Sandra Dijkstra, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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