"Tan is one of the prime storytellers writing fiction today." NEWSWEEK
Winnie and Helen have kept each other's worst secrets for more than fifty years. Now, because she believes she is dying, Helen wants to expose everything. And Winnie angrily determines that she must be the one to tell her daughter, Pearl, about the past--including the terible truth even Helen does not know. And so begins Winnie's story of her life on a small island outside Shanghai in the 1920s, and other places in China during World War II, and traces the happy and desperate events tha led to Winnie's coming to America in 1949.
"The kind of novel that can be read and reread with enormous pleasure." CHICAGO TRIBUNE
The above taken from Goodreads.
This is my first Amy Tan's read and surprisingly, it's a good one. It started with a slow momentum, slowly but surely building up and peaked... upon which it slowed down again towards the end.
It's a story about a mother who has finally revealed the truth of her past to her daughter. All her sorrows, her sufferings and eventually her happiness from a bully of her ex-husband in China to a loving husband in USA. Pearl is the filial daughter of Winnie who had grown estranged especially after Pearl was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Helen, Winnie's best friend, made it her point to try to patch their relationship.
The story line was slow at the starting intro and subsequently picked up pace during Winnie's big reveal. It was truly harrowing what Winnie had gone through during her early years after her mom disappeared. As she grew older and then married Wen Fu, the horrible husband, her life has never been better. Her life eventually turned good after she met her current husband, Jimmy Louie. Sad and tragic, right? Thankfully for the happy ending or else I would have bawled my eyes out!
Amy's prose was Asian styled yet elaborately plotted though at times a little long winded, I guess, Asian talk here... hence the long speech. Though I skimmed through the unimportant parts, the story was still intact and easily understood. I did enjoy this book thus looking forward to reading her other books.
My rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 3.97/5
Author: Amy Tan
Genre: Asian lit, historical fiction