JoAnne Pulcino's Reviews > The Valley of Amazement

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
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it was ok
bookshelves: adult-fiction, saga, women-s, audio, large-print


Amy Tan

Amy Tan has long held the title of the queen of the complex relationships between mothers and daughters, at least those of Chinese descent. THE VALLEY OF AMAZEMENT is the story of three generations of women all torn away from each other. The novel takes place at the turn of the 19th century traveling from Shanghai to a remote village in China to San Francisco.

Violet is a virgin courtesan in one of the most reputable houses in Shanghai where the length and graphic descriptions of the lessons on how to be a courtesan became tedious and unnecessary. Unless you plan on becoming a courtesan you really don’t need these lessons. I am not a prude nor do I mind reading prurient narrative, but this was totally over kill.

Violet and Violet’s American mother, Lulu experience the same anguish when their infant daughters were abducted, and spend their life’s thinking about and yearning for their children.

The harrowing journeys depicted in the novel were extremely long and terribly slow reading even while experiencing great empathy for the women.

The descriptions of the clothes, the customs, the traditions and the family obligations were handled with great beauty so indicative of Ms.Tan’s talent.

Ms. Tan’s beautiful writing was eclipsed by the hurry and confusion in the last 150 pages.

As a long time Amy Tan fan, I was disappointed and experienced great remorse that I couldn’t sing her praises.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
November 1, 2013 – Finished Reading
November 27, 2013 – Shelved
November 27, 2013 – Shelved as: adult-fiction
November 27, 2013 – Shelved as: saga
November 27, 2013 – Shelved as: women-s
November 27, 2013 – Shelved as: audio
November 27, 2013 – Shelved as: large-print

Comments Showing 1-1 of 1 (1 new)

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Jeanette Oh I am sorry to see this pertinent and excellent review, as I was looking forward to more of a Joy Luck Club level. But I am not surprised for some reason. IMHO, everything Amy Tan since The Kitchen God's Wife has taken the easier path to market toward becoming a best seller. For profitability over any quality of ingredient. As if the content was put to some demographic popular appeal factor (exactly like courtesan training might appeal)- instead of a striving for depth of expression in actual human relationship.

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