“The Bonesetter’s Daughter” was amazing. I was looking for a good book and found much more in this Amy Tan novel. This subtly poignant story had everything I crave in a novel. The wonderfully strong and descriptive writing seamlessly transferred me from American to Asia through a span of 100 years. This only served to highlight the intense and emotional characters who were the focus of the story: Ruth, her mother – LuLing, and Ruth’s grandmother. The novel was divided into two main parts, each focusing on a different generation of Ruth’s family. Part One was devoted to the present, where Ruth was in a challenging relationship while dealing with what she believes is her mother’s dementia. Part Two of the novel was my favorite, and anyone yearning for more “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” would love the intricate look into how LuLing grew up amidst traditional Chinese values.
LuLing’s life was unquestionably the most exciting part of the novel, and it made the first part of the book seem like a lead up which lasted much longer than necessary. LuLing’s life was so amazing that with each page I found myself wondering what would happen next. Each event was unexpected yet in line with the unfolding plot. Throughout the novel, Tan weaves the tumultuous relationship between mothers and daughters of different generations to advance the themes of love, loyalty, and devotion. Only through learning her mother’s history does Ruth begin to really understand her mother, and the journey is heartwarming. This aspect would be especially appreciated by women, although anyone would certainly be just as immersed in the plot as I was. The story is a rich portrayal of love at the deepest level.
I highly, highly recommend this to those who enjoy good storytelling. I couldn’t read it fast enough and wish I had read it sooner.