Customer Reviews for

The Bonesetter's Daughter

Average Rating 4.5
( 127 )
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5 Star

(75)

4 Star

(33)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(3)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 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

11 out of 15 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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  • 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.

    3 out of 3 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.

    2 out of 2 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 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 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 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 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 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2001

    Highly recomeded

    'The Bonesetter's Daughter'is a fascinating, magical tale of human experience that anyone can relate to. Tan's beautiful words atone for the sometimes gratuitous tradgedy. I look forward to exploring her other titles.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2001

    A fascinating story of Chinese culture

    Amy Tan once again weaves a magical tale of a Chinese family. The story offers a new slant on what really IS a family. This is a story of magic, superstitions, courage, survival and hope. I like how Tan lets the character from the youngest generation, Ruth, grow as she learns more about her mother and the REAL story of her life. Plus, Tan's writing style is beautiful and flowing, making it an easy read. The relationship between Precious Auntie and Ruth's mother is also masterfully drawn.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2001

    Beautifully written, an effortless read

    When I started The Bonesetter's Daughter, I felt as though I'd entered the world of the Joy Luck Club again. Yet, while the themes of the two books were similar (a mother's heritage is explored by her daughter), the story of The Bonesetter's Daughter is unique. Considering its content, I almost abandoned the book when I reached Part 2. Surely pre-WWII China would be well beyond the grasp of this baby boomer. But I'm glad I stuck with the book. Tan's descriptions of time, place and mood were effortless to read. I learned much from this book regarding Chinese tradition, superstition and character. The Bonesetter's Daughter was a thoroughly enjoyable read! I highly recommend it.

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    Posted January 27, 2009

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    Posted May 11, 2011

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    Posted February 10, 2011

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