5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic novel - my favorite by Amy Tan!
I have really enjoyed all of Tan's novels, however this book I have not been able to set down. She uses a style of a master story teller often ending a section which you've had your breath heald through with a sentance like "and after that my luck changed for the worse..." Then you just have to keep reading to find out how it got even worse! I often found...
Published on Jan. 5 2004 by SeattleStamper
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tan shouldn't have paralleled her book to the Kitchen Gods.
Because the Kitchen God King was not a misogynist. If you read the actual fairy tale there is no hint of abuse on the Kitchen God Queen. The Kitchen King never raped or beated the Kitchen Queen. If you see many illustrations of the Kitchen King and Kitchen Queen in Chinese literature, they are always together. And the Kitchen Queen is honored because she is the Kitchen...
Published on Feb. 7 2002 by firstname.lastname@example.org
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tan shouldn't have paralleled her book to the Kitchen Gods.,
Because the Kitchen God King was not a misogynist. If you read the actual fairy tale there is no hint of abuse on the Kitchen God Queen. The Kitchen King never raped or beated the Kitchen Queen. If you see many illustrations of the Kitchen King and Kitchen Queen in Chinese literature, they are always together. And the Kitchen Queen is honored because she is the Kitchen King's wife. And the Kitchen King is honored because he is the Kitchen Queen's husband. So, Wen Fu doesn't even come close as a comparison to the Kitchen King! Other than that, the only good this novel can do is help strengthen feminist causes (although Tan does it in spite of Chinese culture). But, it won't help Asian causes at all.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 532-page bitchfest,
I'm reading the other reviews and shaking my head. Did I just read the same novel as everyone else? The novel I read was a very boring and whiny book with a very boring and whiny protagonist. In fact, I could summarize the plot in a few words:
1. Winnie tells her story about her life in China
2. Winnie meets and marries Wen Fu
3. Wen Fu beats Winnie
4. Winnie cries with self-pity--"Woe is me!"--but does nothing to change her situation--"Why doesn't anyone help me?"
5. Repeat steps 3-4 50 times, with minor variations.
6. End story.
C'mon, ladies, open your eyes and stop finding books to justify your own self-pity and sense of victimhood. Wen Fu has to be the most 2-dimensionally evil character since Superman's Lex Luther or Batman's Joker. He is a flat character from beginning to end. And Winnie? Ohh, please, she is hardly sympathetic; in fact, she is a bitter, unhappy woman like all of Amy Tan's mother characters.
In the end, the novel's a comic book, albeit one that's 532 pages long. Watching the latest Jackie Chan movie, you'll get more of a sense of Chinese culture and people than this cliched and tedious pseudo-feminist tract.
4.0 out of 5 stars Won't be disappointed,
After trudging through several books that weren't worth reading- I finally found one that was... I enjoyed the story line, the mother-daughter relationship and learning about the Chinese culture.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic novel - my favorite by Amy Tan!,
I have really enjoyed all of Tan's novels, however this book I have not been able to set down. She uses a style of a master story teller often ending a section which you've had your breath heald through with a sentance like "and after that my luck changed for the worse..." Then you just have to keep reading to find out how it got even worse! I often found myself craving Dim Sum after reading her description of their meals. You get to know the people in the book so well it's like loosing touch with a friend when you finish.
4.0 out of 5 stars Very moving and intriguing,
I am a big fan of Amy Tan because she truly knows how to tell a story. Her style of writing captures you from the start of the book and keeps you on the edge of your seat because you always want to know what's going to happen next. I really enjoyed this book because it was moving to see the relationship between a mother and a child develop for the best by looking back and understanding the past, no matter how horrible it is. The life story of Winnie Louie in Shanhai and rural China is heart wrenching, and her stories want you to keep reading to find out how she gets away from her very abusive husband, Wen Fu. The characters of Old Aunt, New Aunt, Peanut, Wen Fu, Jimmy Louie, Pearl, Winnie, and Helen are all very well developed. You feel like you actually know the characters and can relate to them. One thing that Amy Tan never is is boring. She captures your attention and shows a vivid image of China during World War II. She makes you understand Chinese custums, why Chinese think and feel certain ways, and she makes you really know how the Chinese lived in fear of the Japanese during World War II. Tan has a great understanding of human nature and the relationship between mother and child.
It is heartbreaking and angering to read how Wen Fu treated Winnie, and you actually begin to believe that this really happened. I highly recommend this book! I also recommend the Joy Luck Club, Hundred Secret Senses, and I am now reading The Bonesetter's Daughter, which I also recommend.
5.0 out of 5 stars SOO I CRY ON THE NEW.YORK SUBWAY,
WOW. This is the 3rd time I have read this book, and I just start weeping. I work on Broadway, ( yes I am a performer)and this book is wonderful. I'm from the old country ( England) and I truly bloody well connect with all the people in her novels. I'm young; and Amy is me mentor. When I remember what I've gone through in me wee life, I remember charachters in her books that I can identify with ( JOY LUCK CLUB included) and then I feel I can "CARRY ON' Thanks ever soo much . You are a true genius, Cheers . A faithful and Loyal follower NATA$HA V.
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down!,
By A Customer
Amy Tan has done it again! She brings the reader into another world to explore the difference a generation can make between parent and child and how love can transcend the distance. I'm a finicky reader when it comes to "pop" fiction novels yet Ms. Tan never seems to violate the "suspension of disbelief" a book lover needs to make the story and characters real. A generous, spell binding work.
5.0 out of 5 stars Amy Tan Scores Again with a Beautiful Tale!,
By A Customer
Now that I've read 2 of Ms. Tan's novels (THE KITCHEN GOD'S WIFE and THE BONESETTER'S DAUGHTER) and seen the movie THE JOY LUCK CLUB, I can honestly identify her as one of my favorite authors. Her wonderful story-telling ability, believable characters and fascinating exploration of Chinese culture and history make her stories some of the best I've read in a long time.
The story begins when both Winnie and her daughter Pearl are put in a position whereby they both have to reveal their secrets to each other. The novel, however, is dominated by Winnie's autobiographical account of her life in China before Pearl was born.
Winnie Louie told a fascinating tale of her life - a tale which included a strong focus on Chinese culture and history from a very human perspective. She was a very strong individual who was able to survive and prevail through terrible hardships ...And she was still able to pass on a strongly feminist message about self-repect to her daughter despite the emotional and physical abuse inflicted upon her by her first husband in China.
This is such a powerful story dealing with the mother-daughter bond, friendship, loyalty, cultural differentiations, personal choices, courage and self-respect. The story left me with a lump in my throat - feeling sad, touched and uplifted all at the same time. I can't wait to read THE HUNDRED SECRET SENSES next!
4.0 out of 5 stars A story for the heart,
No mattter how much you love your mother, this will help you to appreciate her more. my family is not chinese, nor are we immigrants, however, after reading this book, I learned to appreciate the sacrifices my mother made in her life to better mine.
I am currently trying to read The Joy-Luck Club right now, but it is nowhere near as good or as fast of a read. Many people who read the book with me came to the same conclusion that I did. This book is not about the outcome, it is about the jouney. The road we take in life determines the kind of person we will become.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful novel with rich characters,
I can't compare "The Kitchen God's Wife" to any other Amy Tan's novels since I haven't read any besides this one. This heart-felt and touching novel about a mother-daughter relationship moves every reader's heart, including mine.
I never like reading novels with too many pages, and the first time I picked up this book, I thought, "Oh no, I am going to stuck with a 500 pages story. This is going to take me a several weeks to complete." As the result, I finished reading this book in four days.
Tan's story-telling is wonderful in this book. I especially like the way she divides the book in parts, and each part has a narrative of different characters.
I am a chinese immigrant myself, reading Tan's book makes me feel so close to my own Chinese cultural. Somehow, I feel that I can actually relate myself Pearl, the daughter in the novel.
I highly recommand anyone who read this review to read this book. It's very inspirational, touching and well-written.
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The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan (Paperback - Sept. 26 2006)
CDN$ 18.50 CDN$ 13.36