Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Bonesetter's Daughter

by Amy Tan

I enjoy books that explore different cultures because, more often than not, although the traditions are different, the human nature and relationships between the people are so similar to our own. We can understand their feelings and desires, their hopes and dreams.

This story focuses on the relationships of three generations of women and the secrets and stories that bind them together. Ruth is the daughter of LuYing, a woman who came over to America from China, following her "sister" Galing. Although LuYing is suffering from Alzheimer's disease, she has transcribed her life's story in Chinese on parchment for Ruth to read so that she will understand her and reveal the truths from her past: the true identity of YuLing's nurse, Precious Auntie; the truth about the tragic deaths of Precious Auntie's husband and father; why there were scars on Precious Auntie's face; and whether there was truly a curse on the Yu family.

There is so much more to the story as well: the relationship with Ruth and her boyfriend and his two daughters, the use of Oracle bones and the art of bonesetting, and the discovery of Peking Man, as well as the war with the Japanese.

It is a great read, full of twists and turns and characters you come to understand and care about deeply.


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