A stunning reissue of the international bestseller, from the much-loved author of 'The Joy Luck Club' and 'The Bonesetter's Daughter'. Pearl Louie Brandt has a terrible secret which she tries desperately to keep from her mother, Winnie Louie. And Winnie has long kept her own secrets -- about her past and the confusing circumstances of Pearl's ...
A stunning reissue of the international bestseller, from the much-loved author of 'The Joy Luck Club' and 'The Bonesetter's Daughter'. Pearl Louie Brandt has a terrible secret which she tries desperately to keep from her mother, Winnie Louie. And Winnie has long kept her own secrets -- about her past and the confusing circumstances of Pearl's birth. Fate intervenes in the form of Helen Kwong, Winnie's so-called sister-in-law, who believes she is dying and must unburden herself of all falsehoods before she flies off to heaven. But, unfortunately, the truth comes in many guises, depending on who is telling the tale! Thus begins a story that takes us back to Shanghai in the 1920s, through World War II, and the harrowing events that led to Winnie's arrival in America in 1949. The story is one of innocence and its loss, tragedy and survival, and most of all, the enduring qualities of hope, love and friendship.
Very good. Book has appearance of light use with no easily noticeable wear. Millions of satisfied customers and climbing. Green Earth Books is the name you can trust, guaranteed. Spend Less. Read More.
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.
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.
Publishers Weekly, 1991-04-12 Tan can relax. If The Joy Luck Club was an astonishing literary debut, The Kitchen God's Wife is a triumph, a solid indication of a mature talent for magically involving storytelling, beguiling use of language and deeply textured and nuanced character development. And while this second novel is again a story that a Chinese mother tells her daughter, it surpasses its predecessor as a fully integrated and developed narrative, immensely readable, perceptive, humorous, poignant and wise. Pearl Louie Brandt deplores her mother Winnie's captious criticism and cranky bossiness, her myriad superstitious rituals to ward off bad luck, and her fearful, negative outlook, which has created an emotional abyss between them. Dreading her mother's reaction, Pearl has kept secret the fact that she is suffering from MS. But as she learns during the course of the narrative, Winnie herself has concealed some astonishing facts about her early life in China, abetted by her friend and fellow emigree Helen Kwong. The story Winnie unfolds to Pearl is a series of secrets, each in turn giving way to yet another surprising revelation. Winnie's understated account--during which she goes from a young woman ``full of innocence and hope and dreams'' through marriage to a sadistic bully, the loss of three babies, and the horror and privations of the Japanese war on China--is compelling and heartrending. As Winnie gains insights into the motivations for other peoples' actions, she herself grows strong enough to conceal her past while building a new life in America, never admitting her deadly hidden fears. Integrated into this mesmerizing story is a view of prewar and wartime China--both the living conditions and the mind-set. Tan draws a vivid picture of the male-dominated culture, the chasm between different classes of society, and the profusion of rules for maintaining respect and dignity. But the novel's immediacy resides in its depiction of human nature, exposing foibles and frailties, dreams and hopes, universal to us all. Major ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selections; first serial to Grand Street, Lear's, McCalls and San Francisco Focus; paperback sale to Fawcett/Ivy; author tour. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1993-11-22 Tan's immensely perceptive and poignant second novel tells of an aging Chinese woman's relationship with her American daughter. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1992-04-20 Tan's ( The Joy Luck Club ) mesmerizing second novel, again a story that a Chinese emigre mother tells her daughter, received a PW boxed review, spent 18 weeks on PW 's hardcover bestseller list and was a Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selection in cloth. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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