The Bonesetter's DaughterBook - 2003
-The Philadelphia Inquirer
"[An] absorbing tale of the mother-daughter bond . . . this book sing[s] with emotion and insight."
Ruth Young and her widowed mother, LuLing, have always had a tumultuous relationship. Now, before she succumbs to forgetfulness, LuLing gives Ruth some of her writings, which reveal a side of LuLing that Ruth has never known. . . .
In a remote mountain village where ghosts and tradition rule, LuLing grows up in the care of her mute Precious Auntie as the family endures a curse laid upon a relative known as the bonesetter. When headstrong LuLing rejects the marriage proposal of the coffinmaker, a shocking series of events are set in motion-all of which lead back to Ruth and LuLing in modern San Francisco. The truth that Ruth learns from her mother's past will forever change her perception of family, love, and forgiveness.
"A strong novel, filled with idiosyncratic, sympathetic characters; haunting images; historical complexity; significant contemporary themes; and suspenseful mystery."
-Los Angeles Times
"For Tan, the true keeper of memory is language, and so the novel is layered with stories that have been written down-by mothers for their daughters, passing along secrets that cannot be said out loud but must not be forgotten."
-The New York Times Book Review
"Tan at her best . . . rich and hauntingly forlorn . . . The writing is so exacting and unique in its detail."
-San Francisco Chronicle
From Library Staff
Ruth Young lives in San Francisco with her longtime partner and his teen-age daughters. Her father died when she was an infant, leaving her mother, Chinese-born LuLing, to raise her. Now LuLing has senile dementia, and Ruth urgently wants to find out the real story of her mother's upbringing.
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Ruth, a Chinese-American woman in San Francisco, worries that her elderly mother LuLing is beginning to suffer from dementia. Years earlier, when LuLing realized her memory was starting to disappear, she wrote down her life story for her daughter, in Chinese. Ruth finds these documents and has them translated, learning the truth about her mother's life in China and the effect it has had on her own life.
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