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|Print List Price:||£9.99|
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The Kitchen God’s Wife Kindle Edition
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|Kindle Edition, 6 Sep 2012||
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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