The Valley of Amazement The New York Times bestselling author and international sensation returns with her long awaited novel a magnificent family saga of fate and identity that moves from the lavish parlors of Shanghai cou

  • Title: The Valley of Amazement
  • Author: Amy Tan
  • ISBN: 9780062349705
  • Page: 128
  • Format: Paperback
  • The New York Times bestselling author and international sensation returns with her long awaited novel, a magnificent family saga of fate and identity that moves from the lavish parlors of Shanghai courtesans to the fog shrouded mountains of a remote Chinese villageMoving between the dazzling world of courtesans in turn of the century Shanghai, a remote Chinese mountain vilThe New York Times bestselling author and international sensation returns with her long awaited novel, a magnificent family saga of fate and identity that moves from the lavish parlors of Shanghai courtesans to the fog shrouded mountains of a remote Chinese villageMoving between the dazzling world of courtesans in turn of the century Shanghai, a remote Chinese mountain village, and the rough hewn streets of nineteenth century San Francisco, Amy Tan s sweeping new novel maps the lives of three generations of women connected by blood and history and the mystery of an evocative painting known as The Valley of Amazement Violet is one of the most celebrated courtesans in Shanghai, a beautiful and intelligent woman who has honed her ability to become any man s fantasy since her start as a Virgin Courtesan at the age of twelve Half Chinese and half American, she moves effortlessly between the East and the West But her talents belie her private struggle to understand who she really is and her search for a home in the world Abandoned by her mother, Lucia, and uncertain of her father s identity, Violet s quest to truly love and be loved will set her on a path fraught with danger and complexity and the loss of her own daughter.Lucia, a willful and wild American woman who was once herself the proprietress of Shanghai s most exclusive courtesan house, nurses her own secret wounds, which she first sustained when, as a teenager, she fell in love with a Chinese painter and followed him from San Francisco to Shanghai Her search for penance and redemption will bring her to a startling reunion with Flora, Violet s daughter, and will shatter all that Violet believed she knew about her mother.Spanning fifty years and two continents, The Valley of Amazement is a deeply moving narrative of family secrets, the legacy of trauma, and the profound connections between mothers and daughters, that returns readers to the compelling territory Amy Tan so expertly mapped in The Joy Luck Club With her characteristic wisdom, grace, and humor, she conjures a story of the inheritance of love, its mysteries and senses, its illusions and truths.

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    About "Amy Tan"

    1. Amy Tan

      Amy Tan Chinese pinyin T n nm i born February 19, 1952 is an American writer whose works explore mother daughter relationships and what it means to grow up as a first generation Asian American In 1993, Tan s adaptation of her most popular fiction work, The Joy Luck Club, became a commercially successful film.She has written several other books, including The Kitchen God s Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, and The Bonesetter s Daughter, and a collection of non fiction essays entitled The Opposite of Fate A Book of Musings Her most recent book, Saving Fish From Drowning, explores the tribulations experienced by a group of people who disappear while on an art expedition into the jungles of Burma In addition, Tan has written two children s books The Moon Lady 1992 and Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat 1994 , which was turned into an animated series airing on PBS She has also appeared on PBS in a short spot on encouraging children to write.Currently, she is the literary editor for West, Los Angeles Times Sunday magazine.

    580 thoughts on “The Valley of Amazement”

    1. I am always astounded by reviewers who compare, always unfavorably, the book they have to some book that they feel should have been written Many of the reader reviews I read here fall into that category Taken on its own, The Valley of Amazement is a marvelous, nutritious and fulfilling novel, a ripping good yarn It has, of course, the elegantly simple and lucid prose that Ms Tan is noted for, as well as the touches of magic and the unique characters she always seems to find But it also has a swe [...]


    2. Okay, no thank you Ms Tan I really don t want to know the intimate clinical details of what it was to be a prostitute in turn of the century Shanghai I don t want characters whose nearest and dearest are CONSTANTLY dying or disappearing Tragedy upon tragedy equals yawn, in the end You could see what was going to happen at the village the second someone said oh let s go to my village I was looking for a multi generational cultural saga I got fifty different words for private parts Off to wash my [...]


    3. The Story behind the Story Amy Tan s inspiration for The Valley of Amazement originated at a visit to The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, where she stumbled upon an academic book with a BW photo of courtesans a class of women who were influential in introducing Western popular culture to Shanghai read between those words The 1910 photo was captioned The Ten Beauties of Shanghai She was stunned these women were wearing clothing specific to the trade, identical to those in her favorite photo of [...]


    4. There is so much to like about this novel but ultimately it is let down by too many unlikely character motivations The characters that Amy Tan draws for us strong, savvy and resilient women would simply NOT turn into nitwits overnight and make the poor decisions she depicts.If a child of yours was kidnapped, would you ever put another child of yours at risk And if you later discovered the whereabouts of your child, would you move heaven and earth to find that child, or would you just say, nah, I [...]


    5. Don t call them prostitutes.That s the first rule of the Shanghai courtesans in Amy Tan s exhausting new novel, The Valley of Amazement Just because these women provide sex in exchange for money, they re not prostitutes, so don t even think that.Deception and misperception are the stock in trade of the sex business and of this story, too, which stretches over four generations and thousands of miles The valley of The Valley of Amazement is very deep, indeed, an arduous journey of fraud, kidnappin [...]


    6. 1.5 sociocultural, soft porn and soap opera stars 2015 Most Disappointing Read tie I want to start off by saying I read two books by Amy Tan in my twenties that I liked very much These were the Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God s Wife They were interesting and about complicated relationships but written in an accessible and intelligent way.This current book took eight years to write and I want to say it was just an awful reading experience Eight years to write this tortuous book.The book started [...]


    7. It is a testament to Tan s writing that I finished this book I do not like spending so much time with characters I do not like or respect Violet Minturn, the daughter of a famed American courtesan mistress in Shanghi, is someone I didn t enjoy A spoiled brat would be a good description Violet is half American, half Chinese, a fact that she doesn t discover until she s 8 or 9 She creeps around the house spying on all the courtesans at work Nothing her mother does is good enough and Violet never f [...]


    8. I read Amy Tan s Joy Luck Club in a high school English class While I remember little of the specific details, I do recall the mother daughter themes that really resonated with me family lineage and the internal identity conflicts that come with being an Asian American, the search for self affirmation through love, and finding one s place in the family, community, and world.I got a hold of an advance copy of The Valley of Amazement from the publisher through a media publishing company I worked f [...]


    9. I read Tan s The Hundred Secret Senses years ago and loved it I quite enjoyed The Bonesetter s Daughter as well I m one of the few people on the planet who didn t much like The Joy Luck Club, but it was Tan s first novel and my reaction had to do with the way she chose to tell the story than her talent as a writer Also, I love historical fiction and reading about China All of which is to say, I had high expectations for this book.Unfortunately, it tanked The book begins with some moderately int [...]


    10. Amy Tan s derivative new novel covers the familiar themes she has recycled from her previous novels about mother daughter relationships Spanning 50 years in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the saga takes place largely in the courtesan houses of Shanghai, when vast changes were occurring during the early establishment of the Republic of China Told in the first person by a daughter from each generation, but mostly from one named Violet , the reader is taken on an epic journey of love, illu [...]


    11. Relentless misfortune gets a little tiresome to read about after a while so too with this book, wherein almost everything tragic that could possibly befall a young girl in early 20th century Shanghai most certainly does I don t want to add to any unfair expectation that an Amy Tan novel must have an equal amount of storytelling divided amongst members of each generation, but at some point I would have liked to stop hearing about all of Violet s woes get juice about her mother Lucia As it stands [...]


    12. I was thrilled when I realized Amy Tan s newest protagonist is biracial Anglo American and Chinese Tan has always handled the bicultural narrative brilliantly, but the biracial narrative is far complex and certainly broadly significant to the current readership She handles the subject with great insight and also courageously, because this novel, after all, takes place mostly during the the early 1900s, when biracial children were regarded with such deep aversion both in China and in America Ul [...]


    13. It is very apparent that Tan did a huge amount of research before writing this novel Her writing is very fluid and strong, so why than did I only rate this book a three When I first started reading this I was enthralled, reading about the lives of the concubine, the houses that provided pleasure but also a place were business was discussed and deals were made Found it fascinating that the madame of the place was a white woman, who had a young daughter Fast forward and politics rears its ugly hea [...]


    14. Amy Tan is an amazing storyteller, and THE VALLEY OF AMAZEMENT exemplifies her skills This is a multi generational story between mothers and daughters, as well as many other wonderful and important characters The attention to detail and historical research that must have gone into the writing of this novel is mind boggling If you loved MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA, you will be fascinated by the details and lives of Tan s courtesans I have read some criticisms of this book in other reviews, that it was to [...]


    15. It took the better part of 200 pages before this storyline started to gain a stake in my interest, and even then it was of a gentle tug than a grabber Still and yet, the writing is lovely we are used to this with Amy Tan Grief is defined as when your eyes still see but have stopped looking Harbingers of bad luck masquerade as a sudden breath of wind, a tear in a garment of clothing, or a laughing bird The impossibility of hanging a painting in a room of round walls is pondered There are wonderf [...]


    16. Spoilers sort of I m still slogging through this book about 100 pages left I don t know if I can make it Too many sex techniques, like way, way, way too many And I m fond of sex information Way too longd it covers almost the same.location, same abusive husband men, same mountain village and same mystical mountain pass I m so disappointed I can walk that damn mountain pass in my sleep In general, I love Tan s books but nothing new was brought to The Valley of Amazement.


    17. THE VALLEY OF AMAZEMENTAmy TanAmy Tan has long held the title of the queen of the complex relationships between mothers and daughters, at least those of Chinese descent THE VALLEY OF AMAZEMENT is the story of three generations of women all torn away from each other The novel takes place at the turn of the 19th century traveling from Shanghai to a remote village in China to San Francisco.Violet is a virgin courtesan in one of the most reputable houses in Shanghai where the length and graphic desc [...]


    18. I ate up Amy Tan s book when I originally stumbled onto her novels and was left wanting soooo a few years ago when I saw a new book was coming out I was excited I even ordered a CD audio book that offered a glimpse of the book and was left wanting I started the novel when it originally came out but along the way life got in the way and I put this book on the burnerActually, my kindle broke so I had to wait to replace it before I could continue on,however, I didn t.Sooo I repicked this book up j [...]


    19. Having enjoyed Amy Tan s The Hundred Secret Senses, I was excited to receive an ARC of her upcoming book Looked forward all week to a great read The premise was interesting, and I enjoyed the history woven in I also felt that overall the topic of courtesans was treated respectfully There is a lot to think about and I think book clubs will enjoy talking about various issues raised int he book.For me, the amount of detail was over the top Wasn t dense, felt repetitive to me I started to lose inter [...]


    20. 3.7 stars I enjoyed the storytelling but it felt like a story I ve read many times When its clear the story is going to be predictable yet enjoyable also as I DID enjoy reading Amy Tan again , it just doesn t take 600 pages to tell the story 350 pages would have been about enough Yet Amy Tan is an eloquent writer It was easy to imagine the courtesans, their fashions, and their behaviors in public with their suitors The dramatic the rich the refined little darlings creating illusions of romance T [...]


    21. As a true Amy Tan fan and avid reader of her books, I m sad to report that The Valley of Amazementis not at all amazing The language in the part of the book set in China most of it seems stilted, as if to convey a Chinese sensibility that only ends up as awkward I thought of the book as it went along as the Black Beautyof courtesan books Remember how Black Beauty just went from one sad situation to the next one That is poor Violet, left behind, betrayed, pulling herself together yet again, with [...]


    22. If you want HUNDREDS of pages of minutia on being a Chinese courtesan read high dollar prostitute in the early 20th centuryen Amy Tan s new novel, The Valley of Amazement is for you.If you like ROMANCE novelsen this may be the book for you I don t know what you call a Bodice Ripper for a culture that doesn t wear bodicesa Robe Ripper maybe If you liked the how to dating book called The Rules en you might enjoy the section on how to be a courtesan Spoiler alert for both books Men like women who a [...]


    23. Me ha gustado bastante, a pesar de que en algunos momentos se me ha hecho algo pesado Es un libro largo, en el que conocemos much simo sobre la cultura china de final del XIX y principio del siglo XX, sobre todo te sumerge en el mundo de las cortesanas Y en este punto es en el que en alg n momento me ha llegado a cansar, porque tanto rollo de un cortejo tras otro me agotaba Mientras lo le a no paraba de pensar en lo injusto que ha sido siempre todo para la mujer, en cualquier cultura Porque las [...]


    24. Find all of my reviews at 52bookminimum 1.5 StarsAn epic mother daughter saga that spans 50 years The Valley of Amazement tells the story of Lucia, who becomes pregnant as a teen and leaves her family in hopes of marrying her Chinese lover When he refuses to go against his family s wishes, Lucia must survive on her own eventually opening a courtesan house that caters to both East and West The story continues with Lucia s daughter, Violet, unrecognized by her father s family she becomes a virgin [...]


    25. I read the other reviews and I don t know what I m missing but this book was not 5 star worthy It was brilliant in places but tedious in others It all felt TOO contrived and TOO predictable WARNING SPOILER ALERT IN THE NEXT TWO PARAGRAPHS Amy Tan likes to address the mother daughter relationship and does so again in this book although I could not relate I would do ANYTHING to find my child even if I was told she was dead.As I read the book I couldn t help but feel like we were romanticizing pros [...]


    26. I have enjoyed many of Amy Tan s book in the past, and although this one was good, it isn t great.I found that the book went into too much of the minute details, and became too long for the story Most books I don t mind how long the book is, but this book just seemed to drag on and that sometimes it almost felt like filler material.The story itself, however, is quite fascinating Without giving too many spoilers, I especially liked how we switch from the daughter s viewpoint to the mother s viewp [...]


    27. Amy Tan s writing is beautiful as always She is a master storyteller, able to weave words together like a master painter at an easel For me, reading her other works was like staring at a masterpiece hanging in a museum They radiated emotion, made you think They were poignant This new book, not so much It s like instead of painting her usual fare she painted a pair of socks She s still a master, so it s the best damn painting of socks you ve seen in your life It s better than most of other junk o [...]


    28. I have read every Amy Tan book and loved them all I was so excited when this book came out For one thing, it was too long almost 600 pages and felt like the story dragged on and could have been much shorter and maybe enjoyable It was difficult to read at times because it was one of those books where I wasn t in love with the characters and they made all the wrong decisions Also, it seemed like after each heartbreak the characters endured, they simply moved on with their lives The lives of court [...]


    29. This is a difficult book to review because there were parts I really loved and too many parts that I really hated I thought that all of the details surrounding life as a courtesan were just unnecessary and entirely too graphic Overall I thought the book was too long, tedious and boring in places and in need of quite a bit of editing.But I also loved the detail about life in Shanghai and Chinese culture and food and customs There were lots of beautiful rich descriptions and I felt like a learned [...]


    30. Dramatic epic story during a turbulent and transitional time in China s history.The main character, Violet Minturn, is a young girl raised in a courtesan house, where women are courted for sexual favors As expected, Violet s life is fraught with drama and tragedy She s fatherless, enjoys spying on the courtesans as they re having sex with their visitors and is a lonely child attached to her cat.Tan has a really good eye for descriptions and went into lengthy detail to describe every setting and [...]


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