BKMT READING GUIDES



 
Insightful,
Interesting,
Informative

2 reviews

The Valley of Amazement
by Amy Tan

Published: 2013-11-05
Hardcover : 608 pages
28 members reading this now
22 clubs reading this now
0 members told 0 friends about this book.
11 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 2 of 2 members
Amy Tan’s The Valley of Amazement is a sweeping, evocative epic of two women’s intertwined fates and their search for identity, that moves from the lavish parlors of Shanghai courtesans to the fog-shrouded mountains of a remote Chinese village.Spanning more than forty years and two con...
Add to Club Selections
Add to Possible Club Selections
Add to My Personal Queue
List Price:
$29.99
Amazon's Price:
$16.94
You Save:
$13.05 (44%)
Jump to

Introduction

Amy Tan’s The Valley of Amazement is a sweeping, evocative epic of two women’s intertwined fates and their search for identity, that moves from the lavish parlors of Shanghai courtesans to the fog-shrouded mountains of a remote Chinese village.

Spanning more than forty years and two continents, The Valley of Amazement resurrects pivotal episodes in history: from the collapse of China’s last imperial dynasty, to the rise of the Republic, the explosive growth of lucrative foreign trade and anti-foreign sentiment, to the inner workings of courtesan houses and the lives of the foreign “Shanghailanders” living in the International Settlement, both erased by World War II.

A deeply evocative narrative about the profound connections between mothers and daughters, The Valley of Amazement returns readers to the compelling territory of Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club. With her characteristic insight and humor, she conjures a story of inherited trauma, desire and deception, and the power and stubbornness of love.

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, November 2013: For a hefty half of her gorgeous new novel, The Valley of Amazement, Amy Tan instructs us in the finer points of life as a courtesan in early 20th century China: expect and revel in sensual descriptions of the clothes, the customs, even the not-so-niceties of catering to rich men in a very regimented society. Lulu Minturn is a white Californian whoâ??d run away with a Chinese painter, established the best courtesan house in Shanghai and given birth to a beautiful â??Eurasianâ?? (in the parlance of the time) daughter, Violet. Soon, either because she was tricked or deceitful, Lulu abandons Violet and flees back to America; history soon is in danger of repeating itself when Violet gives birth to her own daughter. (Eventually, the scene shifts to California, where the family searches for redemption and reconciliation.) Nobody does mother-daughter angst and cross cultural conflict better than Tan, who has been literally writing the book(s) on these topics for years. What makes this novel special is its meticulous language--readers may be struck by the juxtaposition of poetry and Anglosaxon equivalents in descriptions of courtesansâ?? sex lives--and its elucidation of the cultural upheavals at the time. This is as much a historical novel as it is a family story, at once intimate and sweeping, personal and political. Youâ??ll have learned something by the end--and youâ??ll probably also be weeping. --Sara Nelson

Excerpt

No Excerpt Currently Available

Discussion Questions

No discussion questions at this time.

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "The Valley of Amazement"by lisurb62 (see profile) 03/28/14

 
  "Cultural & Historical Insights"by BookDivasReads (see profile) 01/21/14

First, let me say that this was not an easy read for me. I don't consider myself a prude, but the education Violet received on becoming a courtesan was graphic without being pornographic. THE VALLEY OF... (read more)

Rate this book
MEMBER LOGIN
Remember me
BECOME A MEMBER it's free

Join the leading website for book clubs with over 35,000 clubs and 20,000 reading guides.

SEARCH OUR READING GUIDES Search
Search




FEATURED EVENTS
PAST AUTHOR CHATS
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...