The Bonesetter's Daughter

Tan, Amy

(Book - 2001)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Bonesetter's Daughter
Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, c2001
ISBN: 9780399146855
Branch Call Number: FICTION TAN
Characteristics: 353 p. ;,24 cm


From Library Staff

Ruth's Chinese-born mother LuLing has senile dementia, and Ruth urgently wants to find out the real story of her mother's upbringing, while negotiating how to best care for her mother. (2001)

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Dec 22, 2014
  • WVMLStaffPicks rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Amy Tan excels in the exploration of relationships between immigrant parents and American born children, and especially so in this novel of the discovery of a mother’s handwritten account of her life in China. Over the course of a year, mother and daughter finally discover what they share in their bones.

A very touching story. I like Amy Tan's books.

Aug 21, 2012
  • marmoore rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Amy Tan always tells a good story.

Aug 03, 2012
  • arleenwilliams rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A rich rewarding read.

Apr 09, 2012
  • Pepperbot rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I loved this book! Mundane occurances become interesting and funny when Tan writes about them, and those difficult aspects of relationships are portrayed so perfectly. And that's not all - the story was really interesting, being told through a few generations. A beautiful book overall. Lovely.

Dec 04, 2010
  • kawichick rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

Novel picks up in the second third of the book however falls flat in plot and character development.

Oct 29, 2009
  • echidna rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

The Bonesetter's Daughter is told in three parts: present day San Francisco; a small village in China pre-1940; and then back to present day U.S.A.

Ruth's mother, LuLing, was born in China and raised by a horribly disfigured nursemaid called Precious Auntie. There is a mystery surrounding the identity of LuLing's mother. LuLing's husband died young, so it was just Ruth and her mother in her family as she grew up. As an adult, Ruth has great difficulty negotiating intimate relationships. She has lived with a divorced man and his two teenaged daughters for 10 years, but still doesn't feel like she belongs there. Meanwhile, she worries about her mother, who is developing Alzheimer's. LuLing and Ruth are both complex, interesting women.

The first two parts were excellent but the final part seemed rushed and everything gets resolved into an unrealistically happy ending. Still, I would recommend this to women who enjoy reading about mother-daughter relationships. That is definitely Amy Tan's greatest strength.


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Jul 21, 2008
  • Lauren rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Ruth, a Chinese-American woman in San Francisco, worries that her elderly mother LuLing is beginning to suffer from dementia. Years earlier, when LuLing realized her memory was starting to disappear, she wrote down her life story for her daughter, in Chinese. Ruth finds these documents and has them translated, learning the truth about her mother's life in China and the effect it has had on her own life.


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