Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Valley of Amazement - Amy Tan

I've had mixed feelings on Amy Tan's books in the past and this one is no different.  It is the story of a mother and daughter in the late 1800's through the 1920's.  The mother is an American girl, Lucia, who comes to China's Shanghai province to pursue her Chinese lover and has her daughter, Violet.
Violet grows up in her mother's courtesean house and later runs her own.

I was frustrated and annoyed with the passive acceptance by both women of their situations.  Its something I've felt when reading of chinese women's lives in the past.  Some reviewers called them strong women.  I felt they made poor choices based on emotion that forced them to bear horrible lives.  The storytelling was also lopsided, with a brief introduction to Lucia in the first couple of chapters and she doesn't reappear until almost the very end.  I think the book jacket mislead me into believing the story would go back and forth.  I think it would have improved the book if their stories had been more intertwined.

There's a lot of information on Chinese courtesean houses or brothels and the lives of the women who worked in them.

Published: 2013  Read: January 2014  Genre: Fiction

1 comment:

  1. I'm in agreement with you. I don't understand passive women either. I'm a little over half-way through this book, but I'm not loving it as much as I did Amy Tan's previous novels. I'll hang in there. Maybe it gets better.

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