16 August 2016

A Good Read

The Kitchen God’s Wife by Amy Tan


Pearl has a secret which she keeps from her mother Winnie, and Winnie has her own long kept secrets about her past and the confusing circumstances of Pearl’s birth. Fate intervenes in the form of Helen Kwong, Winnie’s so called sister-in-law, who believes she is dying and must unburden herself of all falsehoods before she flies off to heaven. Unfortunately unburdening herself would mean exposing Winnie’s secrets and thus having to expose the truth to her daughter. But truth comes in many guises, depending on who is telling the tale.... 
The story takes us back to 1920's Shanghai, through WW2 and the harrowing events leading to Winnie’s arrival in America in 1949. It’s a story of lost innocence, tragedy and survival, but most of all the endurance of hope, love and friendship. 

As well as achingly sad this is a mesmerising story, with wonderful strong characters, and a dramatic backdrop for the events of China during WW2 – the Japanese invaders, the Kuomintang, the Communists, all struggling for control and leaving a swath of destruction in people’s lives, relationships & families. 

Weaving together China’s epic tragedy with her characters’ predicaments Amy Tan has created an engaging read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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