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.
"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)
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.
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!
A beautiful story!
I loved the Auntie character. I enjoyed her storyline so much that I replayed it over and over.
Amy Tan and Joan Chen brought the characters alive for me! I could visualize every scene and poignant moments of this great story.
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.
I love stories that go back to the past and then come forward to the present. I especially love the storytelling.
Just another girl with too many books and not enough time for them all.
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.
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.
I liked the "softening" of the daughter.
The reader brings intonnation, pausing, vocal reflection that enriches the thought process accompanying the words.
I liked the book, but it was not an edge of your seat type of book. Good to learn about different cultures. Interesting mother/daughter relationship.
I was drawn to read this book because Joy Luck Club was so good. This one is good too, but it covers a lot of the same territory: ABC struggling to resolve her conflicts with her mother and her Chinese heritage. Joy Luck Club had multiple story lines to lend interest. Here, we have a multifamily story line but the focus is narrower. For some people this may add depth to the exploration. I found the specific story to be a little less than enthralling. Those working through their own similar problems may enjoy it more than I did. Amy Tan is several notches about chic lit, so I can still recommend this book.
Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.
Not the sort of novel I'd normally pick up, but I enjoyed it. Tan's portrait of a challenging relationship between a daughter and a stubborn mother in the early stages of dementia is authentic and touchingly written. My willful Irish-American grandmother had Alzheimer's, and these scenes struck familiar chords. The story becomes even more involving when it travels back into the colorful past, through the mother's writings, to her life as a girl and young woman in China, where she struggles with her own real and surrogate families and endures tragedy and war. Through these memoirs, the daughter learns that her mother had kept back a few important secrets, and struggles to bring them forth from her as her mind erases itself.
The overall setup is a little contrived, though, and, outside the central relationship of the novel, the parts of the story set in modern San Francisco are formulaic. The ending is a little too neat, as well. Yet, I found the mother-daughter story and the China story absorbing.
Since I am a health care professional specializing in geriatrics, I was particularly intrigued by the caregiving aspect of this novel, intertwined with another interest, family history. A recent trip to China and having read other books about China in preparation for the trip meant that I made many connections in my mind while listening to this book. I thoroughly enjoyed the two parallel stories and the resolution of the missing name. I do want to know which reader was Amy Tan!!
Although the main narrator does an excellent job with the Asian accents, the rest of her narration is very monotone, dull and lacking a sharpness that's necessary when telling a story. The story itself is a little dull as well. I think it would be a better read than it is a listen.
I enjoy Amy Tan's work because she is not only a terrific storyteller, but a master of the craft of writing. This book is fascinating and Ms. Tan's cool voice adds to the enjoyment of listening to it. It kept my attention all across Iowa and Nebraska.
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