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The Kitchen God's Wife


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The Joy Luck Club ( LJ 2/1/89), Tan's remarkable and successful first novel, is followed by this chronicle of Chinese-American life, which shows Tan's growth as a writer. Pearl, the American-born daughter of immigrants, begins the tale with an uneasy visit to her mother for Grand Auntie Du's funeral. Misunderstanding runs deep between mother and daughter: Pearl is married with two young girls of her own, but her mother's life is largely incomprehensible to her. This leads to the large second part of the novel, told in mother Winnie's voice of her young womanhood in World War II-era China. Tan is a gifted natural storyteller. The rhythms of Winnie's story are spellbinding and true, without the contrivance common in many modern novels. Highly recommended. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/15/90; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selections; first serial to McCall's .-- Ann H. Fisher, Radford P.L., Va.

Tan's ( The Joy Luck Club ) mesmerizing second novel, again a story that a Chinese emigre mother tells her daughter, received a PW boxed review, spent 18 weeks on PW 's hardcover bestseller list and was a Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selection in cloth. (June)

YA-- Fans of Tan's Joy Luck Club (Putnam, 1989) will love her powerful second novel. Here she creates an absorbing story about the lives of a Chinese mother and her adult American-born daughter. Pressured to reveal to the young woman her secret past in war-torn China in the 1940s, Winnie weaves an unbelievable account of a childhood of loneliness and abandonment and a young adulthood marred by a nightmarish arranged marriage. Winnie survives her many ordeals because of the friendship and strength of her female friends, the love of her second husband, and her own steadfast courage and endurance. At the conclusion, her secrets are uncovered and she shares a trust/love relationship with her daughter, Pearl, that was missing from both their lives. Some YAs may find the beginning a bit slow, but this beautifully written, heartrending, sometimes violent story with strong characterzation will captivate their interest to the very last page. --Nancy Bard, Thomas Jefferson Sci-Tech, Fairfax County, VA

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