July 2nd, 2004

Venice

Book #57 - The Bonesetter's Daughter

#57 - The Bonesetter's Daughter - Amy Tan

This is a beautiful book, from start to finish. It wasn't as intense as some books I've read, but it held me captivated. I'm not sure I can even summarize the plot properly, but it's a story about family - well, about women, mostly (at least that's how I read it) . . . mothers and daughters and sisters. One of the main characters, Ruth, is concerned about her mother, LuLing, who seems to be experiencing dementia. Their relationship has never been an easy one, nor is Ruth's relationship with her live-in partner. But when Ruth discovers a manuscript her mother had written about her life in China - a story which included family secrets and all sorts of things that Ruth hadn't known - she learns some things about her mother, and by extension, herself, which lead to some changes in all of their lives.

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In any case, I loved this book, and it has inspired me to think a lot about my own life - about the things I remember, the events that shaped me and my mother and her mother. About the meaning of truth, and of the importance of history - or perhaps that the really important thing is to move through the pain and enjoy the happy things in life. While I've made an effort above, I still feel like I'm having trouble describing my feelings about this book. I will say again that it was truly beautiful, one of the best books I've read in a long while, maybe one of my favourites ever. I picked up two of Tan's other books today, that I'd not read before. I'm really looking forward to them, hoping they'll be of similar quality to this one. (Purchased used; have BookCrossed)