The Kitchen God's Wife

The Kitchen God s Wife Winnie and Helen have kept each other s worst secrets for than fifty years Now because she believes she is dying Helen wants to expose everything And Winnie angrily determines that she must be the o

  • Title: The Kitchen God's Wife
  • Author: Amy Tan
  • ISBN: 9780143038108
  • Page: 492
  • Format: Paperback
  • Winnie and Helen have kept each other s worst secrets for than fifty years Now, because she believes she is dying, Helen wants to expose everything And Winnie angrily determines that she must be the one to tell her daughter, Pearl, about the past including the terrible truth even Helen does not know And so begins Winnie s story of her life on a small island outsideWinnie and Helen have kept each other s worst secrets for than fifty years Now, because she believes she is dying, Helen wants to expose everything And Winnie angrily determines that she must be the one to tell her daughter, Pearl, about the past including the terrible truth even Helen does not know And so begins Winnie s story of her life on a small island outside Shanghai in the 1920s, and other places in China during World War II, and traces the happy and desperate events that led to Winnie s coming to America in 1949.

    One thought on “The Kitchen God's Wife”

    1. Amy Tan writes about women (complex women!) and I think that’s one of the things I love about her books. The men in her stories are shadows, almost undeveloped, with little presence except when they are cruel and threatening. I found this closed women’s world wonderfully refreshing, especially after reading so many books where men are the main focus. In The Godfather, Mario Puzo jumped into Mama Corleone’s point of view for just one small bit; just long enough to reveal that the wife of th [...]

    2. Secrets. Mothers and daughters nearly always keep secrets from each other. But at some point in life the secrets need to be toldn't they? Winnie, Pearl's mother, faces this dilemma. Winnie's dearest friend Helen is threatening to tell Pearl all of the secrets of Winnie's early years in China. So Winnie decides to tell Pearl her life story before Helen does. Because of course Helen would not tell it correctly anyway.But Pearl has a secret of her own. Will hearing her mother's secrets give her the [...]

    3. great story about a relationship between a mother and daughter. we all, to some degree, struggle with our relationships with our mothers. this book made me look deeply at my own relationship with my mom and got me thinking about how much about my mom and her life that i still don't know. my mom is reading this now and we've had some great conversations about this and what it means to our own relationship. this is a wonderful story about (1) the incredible love of a mother; (2) cultural assimilat [...]

    4. The Kitchen God's Wife was my second novel by Amy Tan. As it often the case with Tan, this novel focuses on the dynamics of an American Chinese family, more precisely on the relationship between a mother and a daughter. There are other characters, but there is no doubt that the mother and the daughter are the protagonists of this novel. Pear and Winnie are not only the sole narrators, they are what this novel is about. The Kitchen God’s Wife opens with the daughter’s narration. Pearl has bee [...]

    5. What I learned from this book--my favorite part:"Isn't that how it is when you must decide with your heart? You are not just choosing one thing over another. You are choosing what you want. And you are also choosing what somebody else does not want, and all the consequences that follow. You can tell yourself, That's not my problem, but those words do not wash the trouble away. Maybe it is no longer a problem in your life. But it is always a problem in your heart."

    6. The book starts out in contemporary America, and is narrated by Pearl – a second generation Chinese emigrant, who is trying to balance her own 21st century American family life with the needs of her Chinese mother and her mother’s friends. From the third chapter on the narrating is taken over by Winnie, Pearl’s mother, and it transforms into being the story of her life – told against the background of her living in Shanghai in the 1930s and 40s, under the Kuomintang, but with the Communi [...]

    7. I officially do not want to read anything by Tan again. At least this is how I feel at the moment.Why the three stars: The Kitchen God's Wife is very well written, but I hated what this book was doing to me. The WWII in China is merely a backdrop for the protagonist's personal drama of epic proportions; suffice to say that when something very bad, but not exactly cruel, happened (view spoiler)[(one of protagonist's children dies, quite straightforwardly, of plague) (hide spoiler)], I felt relief [...]

    8. The book begins with Pearl planning on attending a wedding but then also learns there is a funeral. As most of Tans books, this book deals with family history, relationships, some cultural history of China, the life of women in China and assimilation to the United States.Winnie and her friend Helen have a kept a secret for most of their lives, Winnie's daughter Pearl also has a secret she has been keeping from her Mother. Helen steps in, claims she is dying (is she?) and tells each Winnie and Pe [...]

    9. Maybe its because I just finished it, but I really liked this book. This is a story of a Chinese woman named "Winnie" and the secrets she keeps from her daughter, not only to protect her daughter, but to protect herself and her best friend. As with many of the books we read, Winnie has had a hard life, almost horrific in some respects but the reason I love her is that the story isn't tragic, she doesn't complain about it (too much), or make herself out to be a hero, well except maybe in her own [...]

    10. Had to catch my breath.I just love Amy Tan, and I wanted to give this modern classic five stars because she's certainly worth it as a writer. But I kept hoping and worrying about our main character, Winnie! How many times can one person get f--ed over in a lifetime? Before they're even 30?! I know, I know -- World War II, the Chinese, the Chinese, the Chinese, spousal abuse, the Chinese, the Chinese, the Chinese I get itbut I had to suspend my disbelief a bit at the end in a plot involving a fin [...]

    11. I read this book years ago (okay decades). As with the other books I've read by this author, a lot of untold sorrows with a sort of redemption at the end. Good book.

    12. Acesta este un roman care mi-ar fi plăcut să nu se termine prea curând. Este un volum care mi-a predat despre viață și femei puternice în 598 de pagini, care mi-a facilitat incursiunea într-o țară ce pare că a rămas cu aceleași mentalități prezente și în secolul XX (perioada în care este plasată acțiunea acestei cărți), un roman care m-a înduioșat cu grația autoarei de a prezenta momente triste și clipe luminoase deopotrivă, un roman care și-a câștigat cu siguranț [...]

    13. Me ha parecido un libro precioso y aunque no he podido leerlo con la rapidez con que me habría gustado, creo que el hecho de haberlo ido saboreando de a pocos, en momentos en que me ha resultado de compañía en situaciones difíciles, le da un valor muy especial y sin duda lo recordaré siempre con cariño por un montón de motivos, no solo literarios. La habilidad de la autora para narrar una historia tan dura y compleja como la de Winnie, sin solazarse en las penas, sino resaltando la fortal [...]

    14. I love this book. Winnie is so brave. She was stuck with an evil, horrible husband. She went through WW2. Her daughter didn't know all of this about her so she tells her all that she went through. It's a great book about revealing secrets and her daughter learns to admire her mother's strength and find the same in herself. Also, why do so many folks have to marry horrible, awful people?

    15. I adore the way Amy Tan intertwines more than one story line into her books, at first glance it seems that the tale centers on Pearl, the daughter of a Chinese immigrant, who has morphed into the modern American culture and who finds her mother annoying and old fashioned at times. Once the reader gets familiar with Pearl the story then turns back to her mother, Winnie and her childhood friend Helen. Winnie's story is sad and beautiful at the same time, her suffering and struggles to overcome an [...]

    16. She is not related by blood, not even by marriage. She is not someone I chose as my friend. Sometimes I do not even enjoy her company. I do not agree with her opinions. I do not admire her character. And yet we are closer perhaps than sisters, related by fate, joined by debts. I have kept her secrets. She has kept mine. And we have a kind of loyalty that has no word in this country.3.5 stars. The Kitchen God's Wife covers many themes and places, yet it is very easy to read. After reading it I ha [...]

    17. When we meet Winnie Louie, she seems like a traditional Chinese wife, ruling her family with a combination of love and superstition. Now widowed, she still misses her husband, Jimmie Louie, and worries excessively about her two grown children. Winnie has secrets she has kept hidden since her youth in China, secrets she wants to tell Pearl but is afraid to.Pearl Louie, now in her 40s, has secrets too. She has just been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and knows that her mother will wonder what [...]

    18. So tragic and difficult to read, yet so powerful. Any Tan’s writing is captivating and engaging so that Winnie’s pain feels incredibly real. Beautiful story about a mother and daughter, yet there is also elements of romance, friendship, and self discovery.

    19. Full review: books-n-music/201. I never cease to be amazed at the treatment and plight of women throughout history. I'm certain I wouldn't have lived long, 'cause, honestly, my goal would have been to make sure I took out at least a couple of the meanest men with me! Unbelievable to me and so very very sad. How can dismissing half the human race be justified? I assume Tan is accurate in her portrayal of females in China during the early to almost mid-20th Century. And if sowell, it just wasn't r [...]

    20. I decided to re-read this since it had been at least 15 years since I first read it and I remembered it not one whit (that says more about me than it does the novel). Yet there are Cliffs Notes on it now?! Arrgh! A friend of mine who teaches with me also admitted that she got tired of teaching the Joy Luck Club, so she started teaching this one instead because many of the same themes are explored.I'd agree it's every bit as satisfying as the Joy Luck Club, although if I had to choose between the [...]

    21. Pearl Brandt's relationship with her mother is a difficult one; she deplores her mother Winnie's petty criticisms, her bossiness, her superstitious rituals to ward off bad luck, and her negative outlook, so naturally, she is reluctant to tell her mother about her diagnosis of MS. But when her Aunt Helen believes she is dying from a brain tumor, she insists that Pearl tell her mother the truth about her illness, and Helen also pressures Winnie into telling her daughter the truth about her past.Th [...]

    22. I thought I had read this book many years ago, but knew that if I had, I would notice right away. I guess I didn't read it! What an wonderful story. A story of secrets held for many many years. Of a Mother and daughter from not only different generations, but cultures and continents. I find the stories of new immigrants and their American born children fascinating. Particularly when the immigrants life in their home country was impoverished, abusive, and horrifying particularly due to war. There [...]

    23. Make it stop! The first quarter of the book was okay, though I was waiting for something to actually make me care. It was a story about family and secrets and interaction - but then the interaction stopped and with no segue a woman is talking about her history and the abuse she endured and war and infant mortality it's not clear if she's having 'an episode', if she's talking TO someone, or what.I began forwarding through random (long) chunks to try to get past this depressing and (so far) pointl [...]

    24. The Kitchen God is recognized in traditional Chinese culture. His wife is ignored. She does all the chores, suffers all life's hardships, and is never recognized as a deity. The mother-daughter relationship between Chinese-Americans, Pearl and Winnie, is a bit strained. They are from different generations. The Americanized younger generation does not adhere to the subtle rules of social interactions. They don't communicate well with the family's elders. Secrets from from the past remain deeply b [...]

    25. 4.5/5 ☆ THE KITCHEN GOD'S WIFE is overwhelming, beautiful, and will always have a special place in my heartigger warning: this book contains an abusive relationship and rape.i started this novel not knowing what to expect. but right off the bat, i knew this book would be unforgettable. the story is told in alternating POVs. it starts with Pearl, speaking of her situations now, and moves onto Winnie, Pearl's mom, telling her daughter of what happened in the past. most of the story follows Winni [...]

    26. This was my first Tan novel. Previously I read her memoir on writing, The Opposite of Fate, and I loved it. I figured I'd read her fiction when the right time came and the right time came when I moved to China and had no internet. Wow, so what to say? This book contains a whole lot of sad. Is that Tan's thing? I'm not sure but it IS a really beautiful portrayal of mother/daughter relationships, and all sorts of family and friendship relationships. And the plot twists, gosh the plot twists! Tan i [...]

    27. When wars come and unlikely friends meet sometimes those bonds last a lifetime. Best friends, not the type sought by young women with First World Problems. The type that know most of each others' secrets. The secrets unknown, kept from the other friend, make life complicated. And a daughter to the picture so that 2 generations of women who grew up in different continents. The women of the older generation tell the young woman born in another continent what it was like in the old country, sort of [...]

    28. I wasn't quite expecting this book to rival Joy Luck Club in complexity or originality, but I don't think it even came close. It starts out with a mother/daughter relationship, but the story quickly turns to the mother's story of an abusive first marriage in feudal China and WWI. The characters are one dimensional and the story is just not original. Her husband is just absurdly bad and most of the characters are flat and uninteresting. It's too long for what it wanted to convey. At the end, it t [...]

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