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The Valley of Amazement Audiobook

The Valley of Amazement

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author of The Joy Luck Club Amy Tan brings us her latest novel: a sweeping, evocative epic of two women's intertwined fates and their search for identity - from the lavish parlors of Shanghai courtesans to the fog-shrouded mountains of a remote Chinese village

Shanghai, 1912. Violet Minturn is the privileged daughter of the American madam of the city's most exclusive courtesan house. But when the Ching dynasty is overturned, Violet is separated from her mother in a cruel act of chicanery and forced to become a "virgin courtesan." Half-Chinese and half-American, Violet grapples with her place in the worlds of East and West - until she is able to merge her two halves, empowering her to become a shrewd courtesan who excels in the business of seduction and illusion, though she still struggles to understand who she is.

Back in 1897 San Francisco, Violet's mother, Lucia, chooses a disastrous course as a sixteen-year-old, when her infatuation with a Chinese painter compels her to leave her home for Shanghai. Shocked by her lover's adherence to Chinese traditions, she is unable to change him, despite her unending American ingenuity.

Fueled by betrayals, both women refuse to submit to fate and societal expectations, persisting in their quests to recover what was taken from them: respect; a secure future; and, most poignantly, love from their parents, lovers, and children. To reclaim their lives, they take separate journeys - to a backwater hamlet in China, the wealthy environs of the Hudson River Valley, and, ultimately, the unknown areas of their hearts, where they discover what remains after their many failings to love and be loved. Spanning more than forty years and two continents, The Valley of Amazement transports listeners from the collapse of China's last imperial dynasty to the beginning of the Republic and recaptures the lost world of old Shanghai through the inner workings of courtesan houses and the lives of the foreigners living in the International Settlement, both erased by World War II. A deeply evocative narrative of the profound connections between mothers and daughters, imbued with Tan's characteristic insight and humor, The Valley of Amazement conjures a story of inherited trauma, desire and deception, and the power and obstinacy of love.

©2013 Amy Tan (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (2868 )
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4.2 (2563 )
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  •  
    Lana Lee Plum PORTLAND, OR, US 08-29-17
    Lana Lee Plum PORTLAND, OR, US 08-29-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A green eyed Chinese girl"

    The story of a strong minded girl who's American mother had moved to China to marry the Chinese man who was the father of her child. In the early 1900's a mixed marriage was not accepted by society. To survive in Shanghai as a single woman was difficult but her American spirit and stubborn spirit she survived running a men's club in the American enclave of Shanghai. The story is told through the eyes of her daughter and the many experiences she had being a mixed breed. It was fascinating how she learned about life and explored the many types of love women and men experience in their lives. Excellent story and narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nyc2cents NY, NY USA 08-24-17
    nyc2cents NY, NY USA 08-24-17 Member Since 2016

    nyc2cents

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    3
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    Story
    "Tedious and not up to Amy Tan standard"

    This story is a "beach read" gone on too long. Silly characters -- very two dimensional and simplistic. . Narration is in kilted Asian accent that diminishes the story.
    Not up to Amy Tan usual high standard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa 08-24-17
    Melissa 08-24-17 Member Since 2016
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    17
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    "A gutwrenching and beautiful story!"

    From start to finish, this novel moved me. It's poetic without the idealistic romanticism of less believable fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    friend 08-07-17
    friend 08-07-17 Member Since 2017
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    25
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    Story
    "Disapointing"
    Would you try another book from Amy Tan and/or the narrators?

    I loved "The Kitchen God's Wife", and "The Joy Luck Club", but I was very disapoined in this book. The overall story was an interesting study in attitudes and concepts during the time periods covered, but I was very turned off by the "storyline/voice" of the "older/wiser" geisha that was to tutor the young protagonist. It felt like an excuse to convey soft porn sordid details, I quit reading a third of the way in.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna 08-07-17
    Donna 08-07-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Tan novel"
    If you could sum up The Valley of Amazement in three words, what would they be?

    Rich, engaging, entertaining


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Amy Tan writes compelling novels that allow you to meet some interesting characters in a period in time that most Westerners don't know much about. Her novels allow us to learn as much about the culture as about her rich, complex characters.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Violet


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

    When the villain was killed in the rock slide.


    Any additional comments?

    Not Tan's best work but a good read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rashmi 07-02-17
    Rashmi 07-02-17
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    "Painfully long narrative."

    Struggled to finish this epic novel, which was a lot like Lu Shing's paintings - uninspiring, flat and lacking in perspective. Cant imagine it is from the author of Joy Luck club! Performing voices were equally inspiring and expressionless.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine C. Boyte Fort Walton Beach, FL 06-21-17
    Katherine C. Boyte Fort Walton Beach, FL 06-21-17
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    15
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    "I miss Amy Tan!"

    There were some sparks of her older writing, but this was a little different. Maybe too much "Shades of Jade," if you know what I mean! ;)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    milliemo22 rochester mills, PA, US 06-21-17
    milliemo22 rochester mills, PA, US 06-21-17 Member Since 2016
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    21
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    "Painful!"

    Thought it would never end. Monotonous, repetitive of same situations happening over and over again. I had to make myself finish because I endured the first 4 chapters. Such a waste of time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CherilynMV 06-15-17
    CherilynMV 06-15-17 Member Since 2013
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    "Loved this book!"

    The story is engaging and interesting. I liked how it spanned many years and told the whole story. There readers were very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane C. Riverside, CA 06-07-17
    Diane C. Riverside, CA 06-07-17

    WriterDi

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent!"

    With 3 narrators, it was easy to visualize the individual characters. Excellent story. Amy Tan is a fantastic writer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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