April's Reviews > The Hundred Secret Senses

The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan
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Jan 01, 2017

it was amazing
bookshelves: all-time-favorites, china, asia

The Hundred Secret Senses is now one of my favorite Amy Tan novels, rivaled only by The Bonesetter's Daughter. Yes, I love The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God's Wife and Saving Fish From Drowning - I love any Tan story I come across - but The Hundred Secret Senses (along with TBD) really stand out.

Olivia, the narrator, is the American-born daughter of a Chinese man and an American woman. When her father is on his deathbed, he reveals to his wife that he left behind a daughter in China, and asks her to retrieve the daughter. Enter Kwan, Olivia's older half-sister who believes that she has "yin eyes" and can see and speak to ghosts.

Olivia struggles her whole life to ignore and dismiss Kwan's superstitions until her marriage is crumbling and she, her estranged husband and her sister find themselves on a trip to China together. The ending is extremely poignant without being cheesy or unrealistic. Tan plumbs the depths of issues like life and death, reincarnation, history, soul ties, relationships and culture in this story, and I ate it up.
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03/01/2016 marked as: read

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