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Winnie is a powerhouse who has fought, laughed at, and struggled with life; Pearl is the daughter who grew up in Winnie's shadow. Pearl has a secret she doesn't want her mother to know because Winnie will blame herself, worry, be mad she wasn't told right away. Winnie has secrets she doesn't want to tell Pearl: she's afraid she won't understand, that she'll be hurt. Auntie Helen knows their secrets and thinks it is time for each of them to tell. Winnie was born in China seventy years ago and experienced her mother's desertion, a cultural revolution, and a very bad marriage. How can she explain these things to her American-born daughter, the one who keeps to herself and wouldn't even allow herself to cry when her father died? But as Winnie lets Pearl in, Pearl learns more than just her mother's story. She learns about herself, about the costs she and her mother pay to keep their secrets, and she learns to share her own secrets. Mothers can both support our roots so we can stand on our own and remove the top soil that nurtures us - this is a story of mothers doing both.
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‘In this remarkable book Tan manages to illuminate the nobility of friendship and the necessity of humour. Give yourself over to the world she creates.’ New York Times
‘Once again this wonderful novel has extended experience. There is something dizzyingly elemental about Tan’s storytelling; it melds the rich simplicities of fairytales with a delicate lyrical style.’ Sunday Times
‘Tan is a prodigal with her talent. She weaves a dazzling web of unfamiliar colours, smells, tastes and landscapes.’ Sunday Telegraph
‘Amy Tan writes with passion and humour, making East and West mutually more comprehensible.’ Daily MailFrom the Back Cover:
Pearl Louie Brandt has a terrible secret which she tries desperately to keep from her mother, Winnie Louie. And Winnie has long kept her own secrets – about her past and the confusing circumstances of Pearl's birth. Fate intervenes in the form of Helen Kwong, Winnie's so-called sister-in-law, who believes she is dying and must unburden herself of all falsehoods before she flies off to heaven. But, unfortunately, the truth comes in many guises, depending on who is telling the tale...
Thus begins a story that takes us back to Shanghai in the 1920s, through World War II, and the harrowing events that lead to Winnie's arrival in America in 1949. The story is one of innocence and its loss, tragedy and survival and, most of all, the enduring qualities of hope, love and friendship. Tan's voice – her vivid characterization, her sly and poignant humour, and her sympathetic insights into human relationships – gives us a compelling novel, both painful and sweet, suffused with hopes universal to us all.
"Tan is a consummate storyteller whose prose manages to be emotionally charged without a trace of sentimentality."
"In this remarkable book Tan manages to illuminate the nobility of friendship and the necessity of humor. Give yourself over to the world she creates."
NEW YORK TIMES
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Book Description Harper Perennial, 2008. Paperback. Condition: New. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0007815417n