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The Bonesetter's Daughter | [Amy Tan]

The Bonesetter's Daughter

Set in contemporary San Francisco and in a Chinese village where Peking Man is being unearthed, The Bonesetter's Daughter is an excavation of the human spirit: the past, its deepest wounds, its most profound hopes. Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club, brilliantly presents "storytelling in its oldest and truest form".
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Publisher's Summary

Set in contemporary San Francisco and in a Chinese village where Peking Man is being unearthed, The Bonesetter's Daughter is an excavation of the human spirit: the past, its deepest wounds, its most profound hopes.

The story conjures the pain of broken dreams, the power of myths, and the strength of love that enables us to recover in memory what we have lost in grief. Over the course of one fog-shrouded year, between one season of falling stars and the next, mother and daughter find what they share in their bones through heredity, history, and inexpressible qualities of love.

©2001 Amy Tan; (P)2005 Phoenix Audio. All Rights Reserved.

What the Critics Say

"In the end, it's the novel's depth of feeling that resonates and lingers. Tan writes with real soul." (Washington Post Book World)
"Storytelling in its oldest and truest form." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (590 )
5 star
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4.1 (195 )
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4.2 (193 )
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 06-16-12
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 06-16-12 Member Since 2006

    My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.

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    "A pretty good Amy Tan book"
    Any additional comments?

    I really loved Joy Luck Club so I went ahead and tried this one. It covers a lot of familiar Amy Tan territory: mother/daughter relationships, ABC struggling with her Chinese heritage, multi-generational family issues. But whereas Joy Luck Club had multiple parallel stories, this book relies on just one. For me, the particular details of this one story just weren't interesting enough to leave me enthralled. YMMV

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sunsetliving 04-14-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Does it ever end"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    This book is very long winded. I am a big fan of Amy Tan but this one was a disappointment. I felt no connection to the characters or plot line.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michele SEATTLE, WA, United States 06-16-11
    Michele SEATTLE, WA, United States 06-16-11 Member Since 2009

    I'm a designer (interiors and graphics) with an English degree. I recovered my love of reading after a disastrous bout with grad school.

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    "Absorbing, but light"

    Amy Tan specializes in intergenerational conflicts, especially between immigrant Chinese and their Americanized offspring. This time, at least, the immigrant generation wins on charm, interest and spunk. The American heroine, Ruth, is a bit of a drip, and the present-day narrative is a thinly veiled research report on Alzheimer's and options for dealing with it -- all useful and well and good, and sometimes funny. But the story of Ruth's mother, discovered by Ruth in a hidden memoir, is truly gripping. It forms the central portion of the book, book-ended by Ruth's drab story of anxiety and redemption, and provides an excellent reason to read this book. Very well narrated!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marianna Cleveland Mead, WA, US 04-21-11
    Marianna Cleveland Mead, WA, US 04-21-11 Member Since 2006
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    "This one will stay with you"

    This book is amazing!! And the readers voices are so touching. I listened to this one right after listening to the Last Chinese Chef and the transition was terrific. The story is beautiful and the history so rich and the story line so well done. Fantastic book. Didn't want it to end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Babette Loveland, CO, United States 04-21-10
    Babette Loveland, CO, United States 04-21-10 Member Since 2008
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    "I love this book!"

    I loved the book and also the readers. Because I married in to an Asian American family, I always enjoy the insight into the culture.

    It is a little sad, and the back story should be the main story, but still it makes my lifetime top 20.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suze Jackson, NJ, United States 11-01-07
    Suze Jackson, NJ, United States 11-01-07 Member Since 2004
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    "Lovely & Heartwarming"

    Beautifully written and beautifully read.
    Especially interesting if you have a parent in the beginning throws of dementia.
    I seem to gravitate toward books about the different Asian cultures and I found this one, as it jumped from present day to past day very inspiring and informative. The ancient Chinese culture is so steeped in mysterious ways and superstitions. It was a wonderful book.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jodie Middletown, NY, United States 05-27-14
    Jodie Middletown, NY, United States 05-27-14 Member Since 2011

    I have a rather eclectic love of books. I know what I like and I tend not to be a severe critic. If I enjoyed it, it gets 4 or 5 stars.

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    "Loved it!"

    What a great book! It took a bit of time to really get into it - there is some confusion as to why the main character is so unhappy, but it all comes together. The best part of the book is the part told by her mother - it is truly fascinating!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tojosha 08-21-13
    tojosha 08-21-13

    JoAnne Serran

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    "The Bonesetter's Daughter"
    If you could sum up The Bonesetter's Daughter in three words, what would they be?

    A beautiful story!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Bonesetter's Daughter?

    I loved the Auntie character. I enjoyed her storyline so much that I replayed it over and over.


    What does Amy Tan and Joan Chen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Amy Tan and Joan Chen brought the characters alive for me! I could visualize every scene and poignant moments of this great story.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    When I like a story, I prolong listening to it because I don't want it to end. I listen to a chapter more than once to make sure that I caught everything.


    Any additional comments?

    I love stories that go back to the past and then come forward to the present. I especially love the storytelling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alysia Redondo Beach, CA, United States 12-17-12
    Alysia Redondo Beach, CA, United States 12-17-12 Member Since 2012

    Just another girl with too many books and not enough time for them all.

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    "Pretty Good"

    This is my third Amy Tan book. I have not read a novel from her in years and this book helped me to remember why she is one of my favorite authors. Amy Tan has a timeless writing style. That is the only way I can describe it. She doesn't write overly poetic or too simple. Amy Tan writes with a unique style that is perfect in every way. Her Chinese voice and American Chinese voice interchange with ease.
    This book addresses mother-daughter relations and the complexes feelings involved. Ruthie is the daughter most of us are. At times, our mom's are not making any sense to us, other times we are just fitting them into our busy lives, while we trying to be mothers to our kids.
    I love reading books about historical Chinese culture, like Snow Flower and The Secret Fan and The Concubine Saga. This book mixes the past with the present of the women in one family. From generation to generation the reader gets to see why things are the the way they are in one family. Why does Ruthie's mom think she going to be punished?
    I like the way Amy Tan makes the sequence of events follow so easily in this book. You can see the cause and effect in each chapter.
    The only reason I am taking a star away, is this book did not have me hooked like her other book Saving Fish From Drowning. Was I missing something? I think it was just the slow start in the beginning. It gets me every time.
    Overall, a good read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dorothy 11-12-12
    dorothy 11-12-12
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    "Understanding"
    What did you love best about The Bonesetter's Daughter?

    Amy Tan has taken the story of 2 women and woven it so that each reader can understand how unknown history can affect present reality.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the "softening" of the daughter.


    What does Amy Tan and Joan Chen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The reader brings intonnation, pausing, vocal reflection that enriches the thought process accompanying the words.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Linking


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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