Marie Cheng Yu's Reviews > The Bonesetter's Daughter

The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan
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's review
Jan 28, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: general-fiction
Recommended for: those who love cultural fiction
Read in January, 2008

This was my first Amy Tan book in almost 7 years, ever since I read The Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God's Wife. I don't have copy's of the first two anymore so I can't pick them up to compare, but I have to admit that reading Amy Tan now I'm not as impressed with her writing as I once was.

Her content, however, is as always quite stirring and appropriate for those of a mixed-culture background. As a Chinese American myself I find her content, while technically fiction, truly strikes a chord with Chinese mother-daughter relations, and first-gen/second-gen relations regarding Chinese immigrants and their American/western kids. Amy Tan wrote of the mixed feelings of culture and history, of guilt and love, and of how family love is a kind of struggle at times. I think what got me is how so much is unspoken.

The Chinese American daughter is quite annoying in the beginning of the book, but I can sheepishly admit that being a Chinese American daughter with more traditional mainland-like elders can be extremely frustrating at times, and drive you to act like someone you are not that proud of...

That being said, if I were to base my overall thoughts on Amy Tan on this most recent reading experience, I would say I've outgrown her writing style. Content is one thing; but I wasn't as swept away with it as I was when I read the JLC or KGW. I still ended up finishing this book in 3 days, but was not as impressed.

That is not to say no one should read it! I am only pointing out that I may be on the road to other types of writing. This is still a wonderful and touching story, and also a story that captures the difficulties of early 20th century rural China.

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