Friday, July 12, 2013

The Kitchen God's Wife

1991, 1992 Ivy Books edition
Amy Tan
The Kitchen God's Wife
Original price $5.99, bought used for unknown
Falling apart paperback

While this is an improvement over The Joy Luck Club in that it focuses on one mother & daughter pair, it unfortunately doesn't give enough of the daughter's perspective.  The bulk of the novel is Winnie/Weili telling her daughter Pearl of her terrible first marriage to a man who turns out to be (probably) Pearl's father.  But it's mostly narrative, with no comments by Pearl until near the end.  It seems like Tan still hasn't found the best way to tell her stories.  Also, while the husband here is not quite the monster that the father was in Thousand Acres, I had the same issue as I did with that novel: while there are such terrible men in the world, and women (and men) who suffer with them, writers of Smiley's and Tan's intelligence should be able to give their villains more motivation than a weak "that's how they were raised."

We'll get to The Hundred Secret Senses shortly after Moo....

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