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~ Kathy M.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Recent Reads:

I have recently finished two more Amy Tan books.    

The first one is "The Hundred Secret Senses", which was published in 1995.  This is the second time that I have read it.  The story is about two sisters Olivia and Kwan, who share the same father. Kwan is discovered by Olivia's family as their father is dying, and comes from China to live with his other family.  Kwan's beliefs of past lives, reincarnation, and constant interacting with her deceased friends and family make Olivia think she is nuts.  

I love this book.  It is so well written, and well researched.  It is also very funny as well.  I give it 5 stars.

The second book is "The Joy Luck Club" which was published in 1989.  I read it a long time ago too.  It is well written, because it is Amy Tan doing the writing, but it gets a bit confusing on who is who.  The story is about four women from China who live in San Francisco and have been playing ma jong together since 1949.  Each woman is featured, along with at least one of her daughters.  So, there are the stories of eight woman, when they were young, old and in between.  Sometimes I couldn't figure out who was who, especially when the older women were featured as girls in China.  Finally I decided not to worry about all of that and to just enjoy the story happening in one particular chapter. 

As always, there is a thread of the intricate mother and daughter relationships made more complicated by Chinese born mothers and their American born daughters.   Amy Tan's books are so full of history and Chinese culture.  I have been learning a lot about the Chinese religious beliefs, and it has been very interesting indeed.

You can't go wrong with an Amy Tan book.  They are not the fastest books to read, but they are very worth your time.

~ Kathy


Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Hi Kathy - I read one book by Amy Tan years ago and enjoyed it. I'm uncertain why I haven't read others. Thanks for reminding me about this terrific author!

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi Lisa, well, sure, anytime. I was reminded about her through Stephen King's book on writing ... a while back several authors got together and formed a band ... he was in it and so was Barbara Kingsolver and Amy Tan, among others.

He and Amy were discussing the questions that they get asked by readers. Amy said she is always surprised that nobody ever asks about the language. I keep pondering what she meant. Each author has their own language handprint I would think?

Her books are so good. They give one so much cultural history.

Have a great weekend!


Laraine Eddington said...

I love Amy Tan. I've read all her books, including "The Kitchen God's Wife". Have you read that one? Another great book re: China is "Wild Swans" which is one of my all time favorite reads.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi Laraine,

I did read The Kitchen God's Wife a long time ago. I need to find a copy of it soon. Thank you for the tips on Wild Swans. I think it is time for a trip to the library.

Thanks for stopping by!

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