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The Kitchen God's Wife

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Amy Tan

Tan can relax. If The Joy Luck Club was an astonishing literary debut, The Kitchen God's Wife is a triumph, a solid indication of a mature talent for magically involving storytelling, beguiling use of language and deeply textured and nuanced character … see full wiki

Tags: Book
Author: Amy Tan
Publisher: Penguin
1 review about The Kitchen God's Wife

Riveting and intense, another brilliant read from Amy Tan.

  • Jan 18, 2010
Rating:
+5
I adore the way Amy Tan intertwines more than one story line into her books, at first glance it seems that the tale centers on Pearl, the daughter of a Chinese immigrant, who has morphed into the modern American culture and who finds her mother annoying and old fashioned at times. Once the reader gets familiar with Pearl the story then turns back to her mother, Winnie and her childhood friend Helen. Winnie's story is sad and beautiful at the same time, her suffering and struggles to overcome an abusive husband who's been keeping her from freedom half her life are intense and emotionally moving. Tan's rich, descriptive writing has deep meanings hidden in words. I found myself laughing quite often, which was a surprise because the story is pretty intense. As usual the author supplies us with deep insight into the ugly reality of life, one of my favorite lines was on page 352, "The society is like bright pain applied on top of a rotten wood" which made me stop and think, digest and absorb her wise words, Tan is a master of writing tales with imperfect characters, so many of them have so called rotten bases, and their struggle to improve and move on make the tale even more vivid and intense. In this case it was the way of life for Pearl in wartime China, the harsh reality was that she didn't have much of a saying; all the older men and women in her house seemed to run her life, and the male dominated culture didn't help when the girl was going through hardship, if anything it made her life more hellish, and at times it was hard to read but I continued, good books aren't always pretty.

This was a good and potent read, I must warn readers that they might get angry at the bad men in Pearl's life, but her struggles never diminished her personality and her big heart, which she has to this day. I feel that Tan's books not only entertain but also teach a lot, not to mention show us how life in the past was so much harsher, and remind us of individual struggles that women still have to go through, whether they are someone's wife or daughter or best friend, and that deep down we are strong, and our stories are beautiful, and that life might never be fair, but we try our best to fight for it.

- Kasia S.

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