Jiny S This is a great book if you have the patience. Each of the women had a unique narrative and their stories are heartbreaking at times.
Judy Maclean This is so unlike the pace and prose of her other books that at times I feel as though Amy Tan didn't write it. I am struggling to finish it (have 200 pages to go) and have been reading it for 3 weeks. I just reread "The Bonesetter's Daughter" and was sorry when it ended after about 5 days! Huge Amy Tan fan, so sad about this book.
Mary I read it for book group, and it felt like a chore. I got a bit more engrossed in the story in the second half of the book, but this is not literary fiction by a long shot, more like romance genre fiction. I expected more of Amy Tan.
Terry Yes. A preposterous plot and awkwardly bad prose--a sometimes risible blend of pornography and melodrama.
Anara Guard Nope. Disagree with so many of these comments. Yes, the beginning builds slowly until suddenly the character is left in peril in ways that neither she, nor the reader, has foreseen. I thought it was well worth my time.
Kathryn Allen Interesting to learn about Shanghai in the early 20th century. My mother was born there in the late 1930s, and I appreciate better understanding the context. The descriptions of political upheaval and social class align with family stories.
Jeri Fraser Yes, I couldn't finish it. I only got about half way through, but I completely lost patience with it. I'd like to add that I'm a huge Amy Tan fan, so I was disappointed in it.
Shannon Nieto I agree it was a much tougher cut of meat than her previous work but as always you walk away from the story with a greater knowledge and compassion for another culture. It does not go to the top of my list, but it was worth reading if you are a fan of her work.
Joy Well, I guess I won't be picking up this book after all since most of you were disappointed in it. I do love Amy Tan but life is too short and there are too many great books out there to waste time on one like this. You are all Tan Fan's so if you didn't like it, then I'm sure you are correct. Maybe I'll pick up an old favorite like " The Kitchen Gods Wife" and re-read that. I'm in the mood for an Amy Tan book, but a good one.
Maeve Yes I couldn't get through this book. I kept hoping it would get better and it just got more of the same at least until I gave up maybe halfway through.
Barbara Witherspoon At times I found myself reading only the first sentence of a paragraph to make the book move along faster. I also found the story hard on the heart.
Marilyn I agree with most of the previous comments. The story droned on for an interminable length. Maybe it would have been better if some of the monotonous detail was left out. Someone thought it should be in the romance genre. Yes, and I don't read romance novels. I did tire of all the descriptions of sexual encounters. I stopped caring about the characters, and that is the death knell for me. This book was disappointing.
Jessica I usually devour Amy Tan's books and this one just seemed to drag and drag while trying to keep it interesting by being racy.
PAULINE ROBBINS I don't feel let down about the book in fact I enjoyed it. It is not a great book but an enjoyable read. I wanted to know more than the poor ending told us for example where was Teddy. I did shed a few tears when Lucia and Flora travelled to China to meet her mother
Anne Chen I was quite disappointed. This book could have been cut by about a hundred pages and it would have been a fairly decent book. It seemed like every bit of fact that Amy found in her research had to be included in this book.
Tracy Yassini I thought this was a good, well paced reflection of history, culture and relationships. It was ok with me that it didn't keep a certain pace, tone or flow throughout because each of these choices to me reflected the core mood/sensibility of the character and environment at that particular time.
Cynthia yes, I am not going to finish it after slogging 20 percent of the way through. the writing was sub par, as were the characters.
Serenity So sad about The Valley of Amazement. I started it last year and got about quarter through it before I shelved it again. I just picked it back up the other week and forced myself to finish it and I still don't understand it. The story drags and often times I keep thinking it will switch up to follow the outline of previous books like the Bonesetter's Daughter or Joy Luck as it ties the story of the mother and daughter together is some way. I was sorely disappointed.
Carol Adair Yes - I have read and loved all her others - and this one was disappointing - too soap opera-ish, too crude, too many holes in character motivation and plot logic
Vered It was going one way then turned into a kind of book i already read by other authors that Tan shouldn't have tried writing again, so i left it. i was looking forward to reading about twins from different back grounds meeting again and trying to live in those racist years. it would have made a good book. Not another book on successful child prostitute in East Asia.
Laura Yes! :( I dunno but this book just wasn't a catcher like all of her other books. I was addicted to her older books but this one was more of a chore to finish. I dunno if it was due to having higher expectations or what but I was sadly disappointed in this novel.
Doris I'm so much of an Amy Tan fan, that this is the first time I ever purchased a Kindle book without reading a sample first. I won't be making that mistake again. Far too much meandering description, and although I knew most of this was set in courtesan houses, way, way too much smut for my taste. So unlike Amy Tan, it did feel as if someone else had written parts of it for her.
carol giesler It's true Amy Tan~I have re-read The Joy Luck Club and was excited to be introduced to new characters with a splash of history~ It's on my kindle and will re-read when I need another Amy Tan fix~
Noella The ending was kind of disappointing and left me wondering why she didn't finish it. Which I'm sorry to say because I love Amy Tan's books.