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The Bonesetter's Daughter
The Bonesetter's Daughter
Author: Amy Tan
The Bonesetter’s Daughter dramatically chronicles the tortured, devoted relationship between LuLing Young and her daughter Ruth. . . . A strong novel, filled with idiosyncratic, sympathetic characters, haunting images, historical complexity, significant contemporary themes, and suspenseful mystery.” — –Los Angel...  more »

“TAN AT HER BEST . . . Rich and hauntingly forlorn . . . The writing is so exacting and unique in its detail.”

San Francisco Chronicle

“For Tan, the true keeper of memory is language, and so the novel is layered with stories that have been written down–by mothers for their daughters, passing along secrets that cannot be said out loud but must not be forgotten.”

The New York Times Book Review

“AMY TAN [HAS] DONE IT AGAIN. . . . The Bonesetter’s Daughter tells a compelling tale of family relationships; it layers and stirs themes of secrets, ambiguous meanings, cultural complexity and self-identity; and it resonates with metaphor and symbol.”

The Denver Post

PBS Market Price: $8.09 or $4.19+1 credit
ISBN-13: 9780804114981
ISBN-10: 0804114986
Publication Date: 1/29/2002
Pages: 416
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.

3.9 stars, based on 438 ratings
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Bonesetter's Daughter on + 159 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
This book is an excellent story about an AmeriAsian woman who has to find out about her mother's past and her history, before she truly knows who she is and can find true love and happiness. It is as good as The Joy Luck Club also written by Amy Tan.
reviewed The Bonesetter's Daughter on + 534 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
The Bonesetter's Daughter is a wonderful example of Amy Tan's considerable skill as a master storyteller. Here she exposes to us, layer by layer, the deeply complex relationship between Ruth Young, a ghostwriter of self-help books, and her mother, LuLing.
Realizing she is having problems with her memory long before Ruth suspects it, Luling painstakingly writes the facts of her life as best she remembers it, so that her story doesn't die with her failing memory.

The start and finish of this novel, which chronicles Ruth's struggle in coming to terms with her mother througout her life and Ruth's stumbling upon LuLing's memoirs, frame the middle section of the book, which consist of the memoirs themselves.
reviewed The Bonesetter's Daughter on
Helpful Score: 4
I got this book as a gift and initially doubted it and didn't want to read it but I'm so glad I did. It's an amazing story. It's so real that you can't help but feel whatever the characters are feeling. I really recommend it! It definetaly made me think twice about Tan's work.
reviewed The Bonesetter's Daughter on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Amy Tan finds the common thread in human relationships, across time and cultures..she always makes me cry
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reviewed The Bonesetter's Daughter on
There is not a reader out there who will not identify with at least one character in this book. It's one of those books that is hard to put down...EXCELLENT!
reviewed The Bonesetter's Daughter on + 16 more book reviews
Tan does it again with the Bonesetter's Daughter. She takes us through the lives of 3 generations of women, the oldest entirely in China, the youngest in the USA and the middle bridging both.

The story opens in the United States. The protagonist, Ruth, is a ghost writer unable to commit to her divorced-with-children boyfriend. She and her aged mother, LuLing, aren't as close as either might wish, but when Ruth's mother gives her a manuscript (written in Chinese) detailing LuLing's personal history, Ruth comes to a clearer understanding of just what makes mom tick.

The history of Ruth's mother and grandmother is revealed in the setting of 1920s China in the rural area where the bones of the Peking Man were discovered. As with The Joy Luck Club, the stories told are not all pleasant. There is a gritty realism to the histories that demands we respect and honor the trials gone through by the Chinese peasant women in their quests for love and a better life. American-born Ruth comes to see her mother in a new light even as Alzheimer disease dims LuLing's memories.

Another great read from Tan with fascinating characters in both eras.
reviewed The Bonesetter's Daughter on
I loved this book. The rich description and well spun story kept me intrigued. I was more interested in the mothers story, or flashbacks, rather than the modern thread. All together it made me really think about and cherish my relationships after this read.