The Bonesetter's Daughter

  • by Amy Tan
  • Narrated by Amy Tan, Joan Chen
  • 11 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Set in contemporary San Francisco and in a Chinese village where Peking Man is being unearthed, The Bonesetter's Daughter is an excavation of the human spirit: the past, its deepest wounds, its most profound hopes.The story conjures the pain of broken dreams, the power of myths, and the strength of love that enables us to recover in memory what we have lost in grief. Over the course of one fog-shrouded year, between one season of falling stars and the next, mother and daughter find what they share in their bones through heredity, history, and inexpressible qualities of love.


What the Critics Say

"In the end, it's the novel's depth of feeling that resonates and lingers. Tan writes with real soul." (Washington Post Book World)
"Storytelling in its oldest and truest form." (AudioFile)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Exceptionally good

I enjoyed this book tremendously. The writing was very nuanced and descriptive which allowed for vivid images to appear in my imagination according to what was happening throughout the book. That, in my opinion, takes some great talent.

The story was very different for me as I normally go for mysteries. However, my interest never waned. I enjoyed it so much that I will probably read more of Ms. Tan's books. I would recommend this to anyone. Also, if you liked Memoirs of Geisha, I know you'll like this as well.
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- Eileen

A Touching Story

I found this book extraordinary and touching. It begins in contemporary San Francisco where a 40-ish, Chinese American woman struggles to deal with her aging mother. At first the mother's fractured English and superstitions seem to make her a comic stereotype, as does her descent into senile dementia.

But, as the daughter (and the reader) read the mother's newly translated diary, this tiny Chinese woman's old world eccentricities begin to make sense in the context of the struggles and the tragedies that brought her to America where she tried to fit into a new country and a new culture.

In addition to a terrific narrative, Ms. Tan works with beautiful motifs, images and themes. The motif of writing as each successive generation takes it a step forward - from ink maker to calligrapher to author - lends this very personal story an epic touch. The symbolism of the fossilized bones of Peking Man and the treasured oracle bones adds depth.

This is the work of a wonderful author, unafraid to let her characters speak for themselves.

Highly recommended.
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- Casey

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-17-2002
  • Publisher: Phoenix Books