The Kitchen God's Wife Author:Amy Tan Winnie and Helen have kept each other's worst secrets for more than fifty years. Now, because she believes she is dying, Helen wants to expose everything. And Winnie angrily determines that she must be the one to tell her daughter, Pearl, about the past--including the terrible truth even Helen does not know. — Thus begins an unfolding of secret... more »s that takes mother and daughter back to a small island outside Shanghai in the 1920s and throughout China during World War Two, and traces the happy and desperate events that led to Winnie's coming to America in 1949.
Unaware that Pearl has her own secret to tell, Winnie reveals the hard-won knowledge she has never passed on to her daughter. She confesses how she mistook love for another with ignorance of herself. She explains why loyalty should never be confused with the blind duty of fear. She talks of the different shapes of hope, and what can happen when hope is really no more than the instinct to survive. And she tells her daughter why it is possible, even necessary at times, to live a life of contradiction.
In the telling, Winnie casts off social taboos, old wives' tales, wartime propaganda, American know-how--as well as her ownn regrets. And in the end, she shows her daughter--and herself--why it is still possible to change the past, to claim the future, to go beyond the fate of the Kitchen God's Wife.« less