Harper Collins|October 21, 2013|Hardcover|ISBN: 978-1-44341-022-9
From the lavish parlours of Shanghai courtesans to the fog-shrouded mountains of a remote Chinese village – a sweeping, evocative epic of two women’s intertwined fates and their search for identity.
Violet is one of the most celebrated courtesans in Shanghai, a beautiful and intelligent woman who has honed her ability to become any man’s fantasy since her start as a “Virgin Courtesan” at the age of twelve. Half-Chinese and half-American, she moves effortlessly between the east and the west. But her talents belie her private struggle to understand who she really is and her search for a home in the world. Abandoned by her mother, Lucia, and uncertain of her father’s identity, Violet’s quest to truly love and be loved will set her on a path fraught with danger and complexity – and the loss of her own daughter. Lucia, a willful and wild American woman who was once herself the proprietress of Shanghai’s most exclusive courtesan house, nurses her own secret wounds, which she first sustained when, as a teenager, she fell in love with a Chinese painter and followed him from San Francisco to Shanghai. Her search for penance and redemption will bring her to a startling reunion with Flora, Violet’s daughter, and will undo all that Violet believed she knew about her mother.
Spanning fifty years and two continents, The Valley of Amazement sweeps the reader along a deeply moving narrative of family secrets, the legacies of traumas, and the profound connections between mothers and daughters, returning readers to the compelling territory Tan so expertly mapped in The Joy Luck Club. With her characteristic wisdom, grace and humour, Tan conjures up a story of the inheritance of love, its mysteries and senses, its illusions and truths.
The Valley of Amazement was truly an amazing book! An epic tale of the most magnificent proportions. Amy Tan has written her best book yet. I couldn’t put it down and at a hefty 589 pages I still read it in just over a day.
The book spanned fifty years and two contintents – China and America. Two women, Violet and Lucia lost to each other through no fault of their own once again meet and try to flesh out what happened to them. This book made me laugh, made me cry and left me feeling hugely satisfied. For as long as the book was, I still wanted the story to continue on even further. This is a book not to be missed and should be read by everyone. I will be keeping this as part of my permanent collection.