The Kitchen God's Wife (The Perennial Collection) and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Buy Used
Used - Good See details
Price: 1.78

Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading The Kitchen God's Wife (The Perennial Collection) on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Kitchen God's Wife (Flamingo) [Hardcover]

Amy Tan
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 2.99  
Hardcover --  
Hardcover, 23 April 1992 --  
Paperback 7.19  
Preloaded Digital Audio Player --  

Book Description

23 April 1992 Flamingo
Focusing on the life of one woman, this book spans the years from pre-Revolutionary China to present day America. It covers the themes of cultural differences, the problems of exile, the generation gap and above all the special relationship between mothers and daughters.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Flamingo; New edition edition (23 April 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006545068
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006545064
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,419,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in the US to immigrant Chinese parents, Amy Tan is an internationally celebrated writer. Her novels are The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God's Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter's Daughter, and Saving Fish from Drowning, all New York Times bestsellers. She is also the author of a memoir, The Opposite of Fate, and two children's books. Her work has been translated into 35 languages.

Product Description


‘In this remarkable book Tan manages to illuminate the nobility of friendship and the necessity of humour. Give yourself over to the world she creates.’ New York Times

‘Once again this wonderful novel has extended experience. There is something dizzyingly elemental about Tan’s storytelling; it melds the rich simplicities of fairytales with a delicate lyrical style.’ Sunday Times

‘Tan is a prodigal with her talent. She weaves a dazzling web of unfamiliar colours, smells, tastes and landscapes.’ Sunday Telegraph

‘Amy Tan writes with passion and humour, making East and West mutually more comprehensible.’ Daily Mail

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Pearl Louie Brandt has a terrible secret which she tries desperately to keep from her mother, Winnie Louie. And Winnie has long kept her own 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. But, unfortunately, the truth comes in many guises, depending on who is telling the tale…

Thus begins a story that takes us back to Shanghai in the 1920s, through World War II, and the harrowing events that lead to Winnie's arrival in America in 1949. The story is one of innocence and its loss, tragedy and survival and, most of all, the enduring qualities of hope, love and friendship. Tan's voice – her vivid characterization, her sly and poignant humour, and her sympathetic insights into human relationships – gives us a compelling novel, both painful and sweet, suffused with hopes universal to us all.

"Tan is a consummate storyteller whose prose manages to be emotionally charged without a trace of sentimentality."

"In this remarkable book Tan manages to illuminate the nobility of friendship and the necessity of humor. Give yourself over to the world she creates."

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
First Sentence
Whenever my mother talks to me, she begins the conversation as if we were already in the middle of an argument. Read the first page
Explore More
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tragic Story of hope 7 Jan 2000
By A Customer
This is another wonderful book by Amy Tan. The depth of stories told layer upon layer drawn perhaps from the combined experinces of many people create an atmosphere of a remote region of Southern China in the midst of war. It is a harsh story but beautifully told with warmth and humour. The Asian style of life where people rarely say quite what they mean for the good of the whole is so typically and naturally portrayed. It is a story of hope and liberation and of the many trials and hardships that eventually lead to her goal. Perhaps, finally, as the story and the secrets are unravelled the daughter begins to understand t he importance of the beliefs and customs of her Chinese- born mother.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent story well told. 20 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Having recently read Wild Swans it whet my appetite for more books with a chinese theme. Reading The Kitchen God's Wife certainly did not disappoint. Amy Tan tells the story of family and its different generations, one born and reared in China and one in the US. Members of both generations have their own secrets which are eventually unwoven throughout the book. Told with such heart-rending humour - you will certainly be moved to laughter or tears, or both!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic in the making 6 Mar 2008
This is one of the best, if not the best, book I have ever read and I have read a lot over the years. It is also, I think, Amy Tan's best work. I have even bought copies for friends because I believe it is one everyone should read.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two different worlds 4 Oct 2004
By A Customer
This novel is about Pearl Louie and her mother, Winnie. The complexities and tensions between a mother and daughter are subtle, yet poignant at times. Tan describes the trials of being an immigrant in the United States through the character Winnie, and the problems of growing up torn between one's racial heritage, and one's national heritage (being born in the United States as a minority). The story is moved along by the discovery of a family "secret" that threatens to make every moment Pearl has lived, only a lie.
The beginning and end of the book describe the interactions between a first-generation Chinese-American woman and her thoroughly Chinese mother, who came to America fleeing the Communists in 1949. In wonderfully authentic voices, Tan shows us each woman through the other's eyes, and the rest of the family through both sets. The love, tension, and misunderstanding between immigrants and their children, by now a reasonably familiar theme, is done in a comfortable low-key suburban way, without exaggeration or unnecessary crisis.
The middle of the book is the story of the mother's life in China, a life with the usual quota of mistreatment, oppression, bad marriages, dead children, lifelong friends, and so forth. If the head and tail of the book are about what happens when your children grow up American, the middle is an example of why you would want them to.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading 16 Nov 2009
By Gaby
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It was truly painful and mouth dropping to see the kind of suffering you can bring to yourself and your love ones by not standing up for yourself nor those who you love. The most painful thing of all is to see how it is out of ignorance, really not knowing any better. A person programmed to be that way can really have it that bad, specially when the societal culture makes it basically impossible to have it another way. Extremely sad!

Amy Tan really depicts pretty well how wounded people re-act and in the figure of Wen Fu, we found a truly pathological person, a real predator, a psychopath. It was very instructive to see how real this character was. China and its environment and time felt so real as well.

It is worth reading the book from all the potential lessons that can be extracted. It was really a very good book.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Focus on the story 16 Feb 2011
In her second novel, "The Kitchen God's Wife", Amy Tan explores in another angle the subjects she so successfully addressed in her debut, "The joy luck club". Here, after a slow start, the narrative takes off bounding past and present, mother and daughter. When we first meet Jiang Weili is through the eyes of her 40-year-old daughter, Pearl, who doesn't have a nice view of her mother, whose she adopted years later is Winnie Louie.

But it is again through her eyes - and ears - that we will learn her mother's story. Both mother and daughter have kept secrets from each other, and, one of the aims of the narrative is to both release the burden by telling the truth. Weiwei story is long and sad. It is told by her to Pearl, and it is so mesmerizing that readers feel sorry every time she has to break her narrative.

While the character is telling her story, the daughter's - and the reader's as well - conception about Weiwei changes. As Tan displayed her talents in her previous book, she is a writer capable of bringing readers from laughs to tears in one paragraph. Her prose is additive and we may fail to notice some problems in the book, such as the stereotypes and plastered narrative. On the other hand, the story she is telling is so strong and relevant that one can easily turn a blind eye on the faults.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt love and sorrow 2 Nov 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is very moving and exceptionally well written. The relationships among characters in the book are complex; the story centres around conflict and its resolution, be it conflict between generations, men and women and East and West.

I expect that mostly women will relate to it as the story is told from the perspective of a woman. As a feminist, I found the book's ideas hard to accept, namely love is acceptance and the woman should bear it all.

Overall, I do recommend the book as when reading it I got immersed in time and place so different from my one.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great read!
Cracking story that reflects on the life of an elderly mother, her pass her daughter doesn't know about and a secret the mother doesn't know about her daughter. A must read!
Published 5 months ago by tammy fraser
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard work
I had to read half the book to get into the story so found it frustrating. It is an interesting read but I prefer a book that grabs me in the first few pages.
Published 7 months ago by Mrs N J Read-Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars First book read by this author
I was instantly taken with the characters and the story line in this book. I have really enjoyed every minute and sorry to turn the final page. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Michael C Vosper
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Well written and am thoroughly enjoying this read. Can t wait to finish it and see where it goes .
Published 7 months ago by Iola gandy
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating read
This is a great story, beautifully written. Interesting characters and a strong story line, together with a fascinating glimpse into life in China during WW2. Read more
Published 7 months ago by tangerina
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good read
Found the first chapter bit longish to get into but once you are back in time, the story is really good and could not put it down.
Published 7 months ago by Mrs. S. Animashaun
3.0 out of 5 stars Promising start, boggy mid-section
Enjoyed the early sections but got bogged down in middle. Wonderful characterisation and historical interest, but slow middle section meant my interest had waned by the conclusion. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mrs E L Knight
5.0 out of 5 stars The kitchen God's wife
What a wonderful book. The characters are so interesting, the story is a lovely read and the book well written. Highly recommended easy read.
Published 14 months ago by Sandy Sharp
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read
It was a real page turner it kept you enthralled throughout the story it was difficult to put the book down once started. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Martin Grant
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Great it is exactly as described and arrived on time. Great it is exactly as described and arrived on time.
Published 15 months ago by Sureau
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category