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review 2017-07-21 13:55
Great Look at a Mother and Daughter Relationship
The Bonesetter's Daughter - Amy Tan

I think that when Amy Tan is right on she is definitely right on. A few years ago I devoured every book she had written and still have all of her books on my bookshelf. I decided to re-read "The Bonesetter's Daughter" for my Booklikes-opoly square. 

 

The "Bonesetter's Daughter"is told as a shifting narrative of a Chines American daughter (Ruth) trying to deal with her mother (LuLing) who is starting to lose her memory due to Alzheimer's. Ruth feels frustrated trying to deal with her mother and with her relationship with her lover Art. At times Ruth becomes mute and is unable to express herself. When she finds her mother's diary she decides to have it translated and the diary allows her to really see her mother for the first time. 

 

Ruth was a trial for me at times. Seriously. I wanted her to take a stand against her boyfriend/lover and his terrible kids. They were exhausting to even read about. But I did feel smidgens of sympathy for her here and there. Her mother's obsession with ghosts, curses, and embarrassing her as a child are definitely things that would make it hard for you to sympathize initially with LuLing until we get to her story. 

 

I will admit that at first I didn't like LuLing until we (readers) get to read the memoirs that Ruth is having translated from what her mother wrote. You get LuLing's earlier younger voice and your heart is definitely going to break when you read about what she dealt with while living in China. It also helps Ruth better understand her mother and realize why her mother acted the way she did while she was growing up. The two women get closer towards the end of the book which did make me happy.  

 

I have always loved Amy Tan's writing. She manages to make every sentence count and just draw you in. I felt every second of LuLing's younger voice via her diary as she remembers what her life in China was like. And also her sadness when she realizes her daughter is pulling away from her. I will say though the reason why I only gave this four stars is that the first part of the book that primarily is told from Ruth's POV was hard to get through. That's why I didn't give it 5 stars. 

 

The setting of the book goes back and forth from San Francisco to China. The China parts of the book felt the most alive to me. Reading about LuLing living at Immortal Heart made it seem like the a stark and desolate place. 


The ending was poignant but also sad. I know that this book is quite realistic with showing how Alzheimer's affects people and families, but I still wished for a different ending. 

 

Paperback: 368 pages

$6.00

Total: $ Balance: $179

 

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text 2017-07-20 21:29
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Bonesetter's Daughter - Amy Tan

Finished and just need to write a review. I ended up just raiding my shelves at home and found this older Amy Tan book. 


We follow two women in this book. Ruth Young is married and trying to deal with some of the scars she had from being raised by her mother LuLing. Ruth at times I found a bit much to take. I get where she is coming from, but it's obvious she has no idea what her mother had to deal with and her experiences. When an incident occurs that causes Ruth to realize that something dark has happened to LuLing I felt so sorry for her.


The book goes back and forth between these two women and i found myself more engaged with LuLing's story. 


This book touches among so many things. What to do when you are the only child and having to care for an ailing parent. How do you forgive your mother for doing the best she can under difficult circumstances. 


The book skips back and forth from China to California and though the ending was not as I would have wished it to be (a happily ever after) I did like where Tan went with it. 

 

Paperback: 368 pages

$6.00

Total: $ Balance: $179

 

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url 2017-07-12 14:42
Ama Alchemy of Love by Nataša Pantović Nuit Book Blog
A-Ma Alchemy of Love - Nataša Pantović Nuit

Ama Alchemy of Love by Nataša Pantović Nuit Book Blog

Source: thirdscribe.com/books/ama-alchemy-of-love
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review 2017-07-05 17:10
Reamde - Neal Stephenson 
Reamde - Neal Stephenson

Gold farming in MMPORG, and game building, veterans and draft-dodgers, a British writer of fantasy with exquisitely hand-crafted languages and cultures and also an American fantasist of the most prolific stripe, Seattle hipsters and Iowan wind farmers, private jets and slow boats from China: everything and everyone has a foil in this book, but since it's over nine hundred pages, an exhaustive catalog would be really long, and far less entertaining. Stephenson manages to take a Clancy-like scenario, give it a Dickensian and international cast, keep up a Dan Brown kind of momentum even as he takes time for National Treasure sort of thinking. Lots of thinking.

 

And also I happened to notice a particular device Stephenson used to good effect: the first time a name is introduced he spells it kind of phonetically, the way the character heard it, but when the character actually appears on stage, as it were, the name is spelled as it is using the Roman alphabet and English transliteration. It's important because there are quite a few people with nonEnglish names and nonRoman writing. In the same way he keeps the plot going without taking the time to explain everything: eventually all becomes clear for a character without a lot of telling. I don't usually notice technical aspects of a novel's construction, but at over 900 pages I had a fair number of opportunities to ponder whilst doing other things which were not reading.

 

So, the upshot: an incredibly entertaining book that one can feel smug about reading. Recommended for ereaders because of the heaviness and awkwardness of holding a bound copy.

 

Library copy 

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url 2017-06-20 20:52
The City and the City to be adapted for TV
The City and the City - China Miéville

This book is perhaps my favourite thriller from the last decade, and I'm really looking forward to seeing if BBC Two can do it justice. 

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