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The Valley of Amazement
The Valley of Amazement
Author: Amy Tan
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...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780062107329
ISBN-10: 0062107321
Publication Date: 7/15/2014
Pages: 448
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.

3.6 stars, based on 23 ratings
Publisher: Ecco
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

Sue-in-AZ avatar reviewed The Valley of Amazement on + 108 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Similar to reviews here and on Amazon, I just didn't like the characters or the story. I've loved all of Amy Tan's books before this one, so I'm holding out hope for the next book. But Valley of Amazement was all valley, no amazement!
mom2nine avatar reviewed The Valley of Amazement on + 337 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I gave myself the okay to set this book down about half way through reading it. No doubt Tan did thorough research of this subject, but the book is a continual explanation of how to please a man and very explicit. I could not get past the fact that Violet is 14 when she is thrown into this life. Also, this particular venue may be historical, but the selling of young girls for the pleasure of men is still alive today and I just couldn't distance myself. Tan is known for her mother daughter relationship study, but that hasn't even been addressed at the 300 pg. point. Joy Luck Club and Kitchen God's Wife are my favorite Amy Tan books, this one just disappointed.
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reviewed The Valley of Amazement on + 5 more book reviews
Having enjoyed Amy Tan's previous novels, The Joy Luck Club and The Hundred Secret Senses, I was disappointed by the shallowness of the characters and the lack of depth in the relationship between mothers and daughters depicted in this one.

I was turned off from the start by the selfish and self-centered mother, the very unpleasant child Violet, and the "women are chattel" attitude portrayed in historical Chinese society. Every character seems to be selfish and interested only in his or her own needs and desires. I kept on reading, thinking the characters would evolve or become more likable, but was disappointed. And the title of this novel - was this supposed to be a veiled reference to a woman's vagina? I couldn't help but wonder as each female character seemed to use and depend on it as her only available power.

Ms. Tan writes for over 400 pages in the child's voice as she grows up in Shanghai and becomes a woman. The lurid and brutal details of her life could have been shortened by 200 pages without losing any character or plot development. She then spends about a hundred pages in the mother's voice, from her teenage years to her older age, where we at last receive some idea of her motivation. The last fifty pages of this novel contain a "Hollywood" ending that is sickeningly sweet, and just unbelievable.

I wish I had done as other reviewers said, and just put this book down, but I kept reading due to my previous experience and the reputation of the author.
reviewed The Valley of Amazement on + 67 more book reviews
A richly detailed book that takes you on a historical journey with a girl who grows up and becomes a woman in Shanghai. The book was long, but I enjoyed every moment. At times, the ups & downs in her life were a bit much, but the book had a satisfying and emotional ending.


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