Customer Reviews for

The Bonesetter's Daughter

Average Rating 4.5
( 128 )
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5 Star

(76)

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 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2005

    Bonesetter's Daughter

    Amy Tan was missing for 6 years and now she's back with the Bonesetter's Daughter! It is based on some her own experiences with her mother (as with most of her books). The book opens with Ruth losing her voice. She has been losing it for the past 8 years. We go on to find out that her mother, Luling, and the ghost of her nurse maid, Precious Auntie, have ruled her all her life. Because of something she did when she was recovering from breaking her arm, her mother utilized her to speak for ghosts (that being the literal part of her vocation--a ghost writer--but the figurative part being that she has an anarthria of self). She has been with her boyfriend, Art, for 10 years and they have not been married! But her mother isn't being her usual-crazy-self lately. Ruth finds out that her 78-year-old mother has Alzheimer's! Then she must translate her mother's written account of her life and travel back to Luling's childhood village of Immortal Heart. To the ink studio her family worked at. In these pages, Ruth will find where her heart lies and where her voice is. Every book from Amy Tan just gets better and better.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2005

    Bonesetter's Daughter

    It being the 2nd book by Amy Tan (I did not yet read The Hundred Secret Senses or The Kitchen God's Wife), I thought this was very original. The first sentence: 'For some reason for the past eight years on August 12, Ruth Young lost her voice.' I wanted to know why Ruth lost her voice every year. I never did--but I did find out other impressing things: she is a ghost writer ( this figuratively--she cannot speak for herself--and literally--her mother used to make her write to ghosts because of an incident that happened when she broke her arm, she has been with a man for 10 years and they have not been married yet, and she has (of course,you guessed it) a Chinese mother. But her mother has not been her old crazy self and Ruth finds out she has Alzheimer's disease. Ruth also has an Aunt Gaoling, who can speak perfect English. Ruth can only find out about the two (mostly her mother) through the pages accounting for her mother's life (written by her mother, Luling, in Chinese) and that is where she will find her voice and ultimately, herself. This is one of the best books I've read so far! So what if she uses some of the same material that brought her other books to fame?!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2005

    They just keep geting better

    Amy Tan's first book, 'The Joy Luck Club' was really good, and each one after it has been even better. This is the best of all!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2005

    It's great!!!

    It's my second book of Amy's I ever read. I read 'The Joy Luck Club' before. I just start read this book last week and enjoy it a lot, but still I confused with the term 'Bonesetter' I don't really understand what does it mean. Is a kind of job or person's title in China? Please anybody, answers me I wanna know. It's important for my reading, otherwise I might not understand it clearly. Thanx

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2004

    I Could Read This Book Again!!!

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it if you are in a book club.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2004

    Exciting and Traumatic!

    I enjoyed this book so much! It has so much feeling and so much emotion. I highly recommend it...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2004

    It was pretty cool.

    Although I had to read it for school, it was not much of a hassle because it was so good. I didn't think I was going to like haveing to read it but reading about another culture was awesome.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2004

    Not what I expected!

    Nothing like the Joy Luck Club. I can't believe it's the same author. The story sounds like 10 others I have read before, just a different writing style. If your expecting the same quality read as Joy Luck Club...then stand clear of this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2004

    Could have been better.

    The Bonesetter's Daughter. Amy Tan's fans had been expecting a wonderful and fresh new read, from the standards they had seen in the author¿s previous book, The Joy Luck Club. But instead, what they found in The Bonesetter¿s Daughter was a story with the author¿s over-used themes of mother-daughter relationships, fused together with her usual Chinese-American cultural background. While this book included several high points that show the author's obvious talent and the book's potential¿including the life story of LuLing Young in the middle, there was much to be had in the loop holed-plot, among many other things. Yet another peeve that one may find in the book is how Ms. Tan managed to 'resolve', or rather, not-resolve the main character's problems at the end; by ignoring the roots of the conflicts and cutting them off entirely, Amy Tan concluded the book weakly, leaving the audience still hanging. I am not trying to say that this was a horrible book--on the contrary, this book was a pretty good read and I would suggest that one read this book if one wanted an easier read while learning more about the Chinese culture and history. However, I feel that one should not read this book while they are feeling particularly picky and wish to point out all the faults.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2004

    Depressing

    I don't think Prozac will help me get through this book. I'm not even done yet but it's so depressing and dreary that I keep plodding through each page hoping it ends soon. This is such a departure from the previous Amy Tan book I had read - Joy Luck Club. That was a bittersweet tale with better characters and story. I can only hope she tries something new in her writing and steers away from this kind of story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2004

    Riveting

    This book was beautifully written, absolutely amazing. How it teeters from Ruth to Precious Aunties's story. It teaches that you cannot assume you know all of someones past, that there are reasons behind actions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2004

    A very good read

    Although I enjoyed The Kitchen's God wife much more, this book was well worth reading. Initially the story did not seem to have the depth of some of Ms. Tan's previous novels, but once I got to the middle of the book where her mother's story was translated from the Chinese, the book became much mroe alive. I thought that ending was a bit hasty in terms of Ruth's resolution of some of her struggles. Yet, overall, this is a very good read and I recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2004

    Best book I've read in a long time

    I made my mom read this book after I did because it is so good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2003

    'A Must Read'

    I absolutely love Amy Tan's stories. Her stories are soothing, enchanting, and emotional. I've read all her book and agree with the others that this is one of her best stories written of a mother/daughter relationship. I cannot recommend a greater book. The Bonesetter's Daughter is is an excellent choice for readers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2003

    Mothers and Daughters

    Few writers have yet to grasp the real relationship between mother and daughter. Ruth plunges into the truth of her own mothers existence, and what she finds closes the gap on their understanding of each other. Amy Tan has given us daughters a reason to finally figure out the battles scars on our own mothers hearts. This is a novel of gread depth that I encourage all women to read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2003

    I ENJOYED READING THIS BOOK!

    WELL I START READING THIS BOOK AS A REQUIREMENT FOR SUMMER READING HOMEWORK WHICH I THOUGHT WOULD BE REALLY BORING! BUT FORTUNATELY IT REALLY WASN'T! I ENJOYED READING THIS BOOK FROM PAGE 1 UP TO PAGE 403, ITS REALLY INTERESTING AND I RECOMMEND IT TO ANYONE!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2003

    Joy Luck Redux

    This book is Tan's best since her breakthrough Joy Luck Club. Once again, centered on the relationships of mothers and daughters, it truly touches the heart. Tan's books really ring true, especially for those of us in the Asian community. It goes to prove the old adage the most writers write about what they know. I rarely cry at tearjerkers, but I cried at the end of this book and wanted more. It remineded me a great deal of my own japanese mother who passed away a few years ago. A real gem!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2002

    her best book yet

    I love Amy Tan..and this is her best book to date..interesting and a fascinating insight into Chinese culture..

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2002

    'Typical' Amy Tan

    A very good book, and very 'typical' Amy Tan. The themes are consistent with her others...mothers & daughters, and Chinese American heritage. A very well-written and captivating story. Great 'book club' book.

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