The Bonesetter’s Daughter, by Amy Tan


Five stars, read in October/November 2017.

It’s been several years since I last read Amy Tan and I was starting to wonder whether her books were a phase I’d grown out of. They are not. I deeply loved everything about this book, including (especially) the fact that in the audiobook, LuLing’s sections are beautifully narrated by Tan herself. I own a paperback copy that I’ve been intending to read for years, but I’m so glad I ended up listening to the audio for that reason. Authors are often the wrong people to narrate their own books (for example, Sy Montgomery’s The Soul of an Octopus, which is the book I started after finishing this one), but Amy Tan’s performance is perfect.

The Bonesetter’s Daughter is classic Amy Tan, a mother/daughter story set in both the United States and China. The daughter, first generation Chinese-American Ruth, couldn’t have had a more different childhood from her mother’s, but both their stories are heartbreaking and compelling. I loved following them together as Ruth discovered her family’s history, learned about her mother, and began to deal with issues in her own life and relationships.

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