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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.

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    369
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    121
  • 2 Stars
    22
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    20

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    107
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    52
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    9
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    6

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • 4 Stars
    111
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    10
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  • Overall

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!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Barry
  • Petaluma, CA, United States
  • 06-16-12

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

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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

  • Overall

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

  • Overall
  • Babette
  • Loveland, CO, United States
  • 04-21-10

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

  • Overall

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

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A Life in Full

Would you listen to The Bonesetter's Daughter again? Why?

Yes, The Bonesetters daughter was was a subtle and engrossing novel told beautifully in several voices. I would read it again to make sure I caught al the nuances in the story.

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

The moment that I saw that the disfigured and dismissed servant was the heroine of the story.

Which character – as performed by Amy Tan and Joan Chen – was your favorite?

I can't pick a character this was an ensemble of [people who could love and hate at the same time. Who could act out of spite and united to with love and understanding. it was a very human and lovely story

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The heroine
s daughter reading her mothers diary'

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Painful

This was excruciating to listen to. Not only is the narrator's monotone voice annoying, but the storyline...oh, wait... there isn't one. After 4 hours and 7 chapters I just couldn't listen anymore. Worst book I've ever purchased -- and that's saying a lot!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

I love this story. I didn't want it to end. Great!

This was a very enjoyable book I did not want the story to end. My favorite part of the book was when Lou Ling was at the orphanage and fell in love. This is a beautiful love story not only for man and woman but mother and daughter.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Beautiful story

Slow start but about half way through was addicted to the story and what came next. Left me happy and smiling.