Customer Reviews for

The Bonesetter's Daughter

Average Rating 4.5
( 127 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(75)

4 Star

(33)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(3)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Heartbreaking

I listened to this on audio and really liked it. The Joy Luck Club is more popular than this book and I don't know why. This one was way better.

Overview:
Ruth has always had a complex relationship with her mother. Through her childhood, she struggled to underst...
I listened to this on audio and really liked it. The Joy Luck Club is more popular than this book and I don't know why. This one was way better.

Overview:
Ruth has always had a complex relationship with her mother. Through her childhood, she struggled to understand her mother's previous life in China and the marriage she had before her mother married her father. When her mother starts showing signs that she's losing her memory and even starts fabricating the truth, Ruth becomes really concerned. She looks to the pages her mother wrote in Chinese and had given her years ago. Ruth had set them aside meaning to translate them but never got around to it. Now, she realizes it is her mother's life story and the importance it plays now that her mother doesn't know what is truth anymore. What she finds out, once it's translated, is the heartbreaking tale of the family secret that haunts her mother and the family curse she believes to exist. After reading the translated pages, Ruth looks back to the past and is able to see her mother with new eyes. Growing up she was annoyed and embarrassed by her mother's strange ways but is now able to see that her mother was just tormented by the ghost of her own mother.

What's really sad is when it says that Ruth shoves her mother's pages in a drawer after failing at translating it herself. Every year her mother would ask if she finished translating it until she eventually stopped asking, saying that Ruth was too busy for her. When you realize the importance of the papers, it's that much more heartbreaking to know how her mother must have felt. Later, in her mother's story, you see the same thing happening when she refuses to read papers given to her, resulting in tragic consequences.

posted by Mavis1129 on July 3, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

12 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

Not her best book but overall pretty good. My one star is becaus

Not her best book but overall pretty good. My one star is because the book is $18.99, and the paperback is $7.99. I have to pay an extra $11 to basically rent a book and never completely own it or be able to let someone else read my copy? That is ridiculous. If the pape...
Not her best book but overall pretty good. My one star is because the book is $18.99, and the paperback is $7.99. I have to pay an extra $11 to basically rent a book and never completely own it or be able to let someone else read my copy? That is ridiculous. If the paperback is $7.99, the ebook should be no more than that, and probably less.

posted by 4352493 on March 13, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2012

    Not her best book but overall pretty good. My one star is becaus

    Not her best book but overall pretty good. My one star is because the book is $18.99, and the paperback is $7.99. I have to pay an extra $11 to basically rent a book and never completely own it or be able to let someone else read my copy? That is ridiculous. If the paperback is $7.99, the ebook should be no more than that, and probably less.

    12 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 3, 2011

    Heartbreaking

    I listened to this on audio and really liked it. The Joy Luck Club is more popular than this book and I don't know why. This one was way better.

    Overview:
    Ruth has always had a complex relationship with her mother. Through her childhood, she struggled to understand her mother's previous life in China and the marriage she had before her mother married her father. When her mother starts showing signs that she's losing her memory and even starts fabricating the truth, Ruth becomes really concerned. She looks to the pages her mother wrote in Chinese and had given her years ago. Ruth had set them aside meaning to translate them but never got around to it. Now, she realizes it is her mother's life story and the importance it plays now that her mother doesn't know what is truth anymore. What she finds out, once it's translated, is the heartbreaking tale of the family secret that haunts her mother and the family curse she believes to exist. After reading the translated pages, Ruth looks back to the past and is able to see her mother with new eyes. Growing up she was annoyed and embarrassed by her mother's strange ways but is now able to see that her mother was just tormented by the ghost of her own mother.

    What's really sad is when it says that Ruth shoves her mother's pages in a drawer after failing at translating it herself. Every year her mother would ask if she finished translating it until she eventually stopped asking, saying that Ruth was too busy for her. When you realize the importance of the papers, it's that much more heartbreaking to know how her mother must have felt. Later, in her mother's story, you see the same thing happening when she refuses to read papers given to her, resulting in tragic consequences.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    It's a somewhat slow start (the first 2-3 chapters) but once it

    It's a somewhat slow start (the first 2-3 chapters) but once it gets going it really swept me away. I thought it was even better than The Joy Luck Club, even though I liked that too. 

    This story is divided into three parts, the first and third told in present day (for the book, in the 90s) from American-born Ruth's perspective. The middle part is told from her mother's perspective as a child, teen, and then young adult in China. It portrays the complexities of familial relationships, particularly mother-daughter, and the trials of love, loss, etc. I was transported through the characters' many sorrows. Tan is able to make the characters come fully to life and the plot was both believable and surprising. I highly recommend this book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    bonds

    In my opinion this is Amy Tan's best novel, even exceeding the very popular (and well written) "The Joy Luck Club." This novel is a beautiful aria to the relationship between a mother and daughter. It involves secrets, survival, sacrifice, and the deep pains and joys that can be caused by the greatest love. Allow yourself to be swept into this book; it will be a journey well worth taking, and one you are not likely to forget.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2013

    really nicely written-draws you in

    I am just learning about Amy Tan novels. I am now a fan. Not predictable, very interesting insider culture information, wonderful characters. I love her writing. I usually read non fiction but this is almost like non fiction with having so much of the China culture strongly drawn upon for the story. I am trying to read the novels in order of having been written. I am not sure this is important but somehow I think that it might be.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2013

    Aricka johnbrow

    I LOve my mommy and daddy and zach is

    They are the Bast mommy and daddy Bast .



    1 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    Beautiful, well-written novel. The story is very good and it kept my attention throughout the entire book from the beginning to the end.

    I was not familiar with Tan's works. This novel made me want to read more of Tan's stories. Amy Tan is a talented writer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2005

    Beautiful writing style!

    I have read all of Amy Tan's novels and loved them! True, each book has a certain redundancy, but each has a unique story. I love the way she uses words to describe emotions, thoughts, characters and places. I feel as though I am living the lives of her characters. 'The Bonesetter's Daughter' is a sad tale that will effect you emotionally. The story has inspired me to explore my parent's Indian heritage.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2013

    This book was about a young youth named Ruth. Raised by her craz

    This book was about a young youth named Ruth. Raised by her crazy mother Lui Lang, she is lost. Her mother’s mind is slowing down and Ruth is going through all the changes a young girl goes through. Ruth has written a diary full of memories that she had later forgotten. These things she knows are true. The place she was born dies, and everyone else dies with it. Ruth had always had a complicated relationship with her mother. As her mother gotten older, she started fading the truth of her mother’s marriage and how she used to be. Later, Ruth’s untie left her pages of Chinese history. Ruth had plans on reading over it but never got to it. After translating the truth, Ruth gives up on caring. Her mother constantly asks have you read those papers?

    Sometimes Ruth would get so annoyed her mother eventually stopped asking. Ruth read the papers, but she didn’t want her mother to know. Ruth grew up embarrassed by her mother’s ways. Even her friends Lace and Wendy think she’s insane. Ruth is now stuck with the truth that her precious untie left her. She now feels sorrow for her mother, for the bad marriage, everything. For so long, Ruth has never understood her mother’s old life, but now she has. Ruth being born in America and her mother being born in china, Ruth never wanted to do things the way of her culture. But now, Ruth honors her mother, her culture, her life, and her future. This is the story of Ruth, the girl who will never forget where she came from.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 26, 2012

    Tan weaves a vast tale of family secrets revealed, in which peop

    Tan weaves a vast tale of family secrets revealed, in which people seem to hide all that is best in themselves. The secrecy impoverishes their relationships, till the truth comes to light and exposes their authentic greatness. All their suffering, struggling, even their soul-murdering resentment of each other, then comes together in a coherent pattern of beauty that's almost too good to be true. Maybe the ending is a bit too happy. But Tan is not one to deny the ultimate human dream. And the path to that ending is so real, so gritty, at times so heart-poundingly gripping, that all the happiness is richly deserved.

    --author of A Galaxy of Immortal Women: The Yin Side of Chinese Civilization

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2012

    Very touching

    Makes you look at your own relationship and insecuities

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2011

    A+WORK+OF+ART%21%21

    This+book+is+amazing%21+Everytime+I+open+it+I+know+what+will+come+next+is+unexpected%2C+but+completely+fitting.+Amy+Tan+writes+with+so+much+heart+you+would+think+it+was+about+her+own+life.+I+would+always+recommend+one+of+her+books+to+anyone.+Everyone+can+find+something+to+relate+to+in+this+book.+Whether+it+be+loss%2C+fear+or+ancient+rituals.+This+book+is+a+must+read+and+will+be+enjoyed+for+generations+to+come%21+

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2010

    Can't Wait Till Amy Tan Writes Another Book!

    Excellent! I was disappointed to see it end. It kept getting better and better the further I got into the book. The exploration of the mother-daughter relationship between the American-born daughter and China-born mother has been done before by Amy Tan. But what a treat to see it done again. The book begins with the perspective of Ruth, a San Francisco ghostwriter of self-help books, and then moves on to the perspective of her mother, LuLing, through her memoirs, of her life in China. LuLing, fearing that she is losing her memory, pushes for Ruth to have her memories, set down in calligraphy, translated into English. It's in this way that LuLing begins to communicate to Ruth the truths of her own life, bringing into focus the layers of reality underlying the conflicts between LuLing and her mother. Now Ruth comes to know about LuLing's own troubled relationship with her mother, Precious Auntie, and the truths about her growing up years in China.

    Ruth is able to eventually use her new knowledge to connect even more powerfully with her mother, and to question for herself, in her own life, what she wants in terms of connection with others.

    It's an emotional, beautifully written book, and I 'm not sure that I now like this book better than her first book, The Joy Luck Club, because it's a better book, or because now I'm older and have a daughter of my own.

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  • Posted October 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Amy Tan's Finest Work

    I fell in love with Amy (anyone remember the song, "Once in Love with Amy"?) after reading THE JOY LUCK CLUB, and my affection deepened after meeting her at Oakley and Barbara Hall's incomparable parties. Her humanity, gift with words, and gorgeous imagery have kept me entranced, but BONESETTER'S DAUGHTER has a depth and resonance that I can't define. The best way I can express it is to put it in a league with THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE. The two novels have nothing in common except that ineffable ability to touch the spirit. These are the books that astonish, that you carry with you forever.

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  • Posted September 19, 2009

    The Bonesetter's Daughter

    Very touching story

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  • Posted February 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Not her best work

    The cover raised a red flag even before I read the book; with the name printed in bigger fonts than the title, the book resembled a cheesy romance novel of a lesser quality than Tan's works such as the Joy Luck Club. The concept of the book is ambitious - it tells the stories of two very different lives of a Chinese mother and daughter, who struggle to understand themselves by understanding each other. Unfortunately, one story dwarfs the other.<BR/><BR/>The first story is by a second generation Chinese immigrant who recollects her childhood to her present day. Her worries consist of her mother suffering from her dementia and drama with her acquaintances, which include her husband. Aside from her mother who stops nagging at the moment her daughter starts homework, the story is as bland as that of an Average Joe.<BR/><BR/>The second story, the one of her mother, is much, much better and intense with secrets and emotions. Without giving too many details away, parts of her story consist of tragically not recognizing her own mother before she dies and running away from Japanese soldiers during World War II. The sheer content of the book is so much wider in scope compared to that of the her daughter's, which looks superficial and shallow. While the book is not all that poorly written, it leaves much to be desired at the end.

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  • Posted November 28, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Amy Tan does it again!

    Amy Tan shows her sensitivity and vulnerability in this novel about mothers and daughters. Wonderful!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2008

    Hard to Forget

    The Bonesetter¿s Daughter, by Amy Tan, tells the tale of generations of a Chinese family living in San Francisco, California. Ruth Young is the only daughter of LuLing Young, a wise Chinese woman. The story takes place during one year when Ruth is in her forties. Ruth is a `book doctor¿ she helps others write what they cannot seem to put into words. She lives with her husband and his two daughters, who she has trouble seeing eye to eye with at times. As LuLing starts having memory lapses, Ruth starts taking care of her. It is during this year that Ruth finds out the secrets of her mother¿s childhood. As Ruth reads her mother¿s Chinese diary, she uncovers childhood secrets that her mother was never able to reveal. LuLing was raised by Precious Auntie, who was mute. As Precious Auntie raises LuLing, she tells LuLing secrets of the Peking Man, whose bones are discovered in the village where LuLing and Precious Auntie live. Precious Auntie turns to suicide and in doing so, changes LuLing¿s life forever. The Bonesetter¿s Daughter is a multi-layered story, not only telling the tale of Ruth¿s complicated relationships with her family, but LuLing¿s troubling childhood. As she learns these secrets, Ruth starts to understand why her mother raised her like she did, filling Ruth¿s mind with thoughts of ghosts and curses. This book takes you on a journey you will never forget.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2007

    I Love Reading Amy Tan

    Each Book is a sourse of entertainment and I find myself laughing out loud at the comical situations Tan writes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2006

    A great read.....

    I had to read this book for one of my english courses. At first I did not think it was going to be a great book, but by the 4th chapter I was HOOKED.......this book is great and I am going to buy it for my personal collection.

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