The valley of amazement / by Amy Tan.
Publication year: 2013
Publisher: London : Fourth Estate, 2013.
ISBN: 9780007456277 (hbk.) : 9780007467242 (ePub ebook) :
In fin de siecle Shanghai, Violet Minturn grows up at Hidden Jade Path, the city's most exclusive courtesan house. But when revolution comes, she is separated from her mother and forced to become a 'virgin courtesan.' Both Chinese and American, Violet moves between these cultural worlds, becoming a shrewd businesswoman who deals in seduction and illusion. But her successes belie her private turmoil.
400 pages ; 24 cm
NWR Book Review The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan This story is set among the high-class courtesan houses in Shanghai, starting in the late 1880's and ending after the Second World War. It features a mother and daughter who are similarly stubborn and impulsive, are betrayed by their men and end up by default as Chinese courtesans, albeit by very different routes. Amy Tan describes the heartbreaking choices which face a single mother in Victorian-era China since the opportunities for earning money and keeping a roof over one's head are very limited. The characters of Lulu and her daughter Violet are described in great detail and one can visualise them clearly, together with their faithful maids who stay with them through thick and thin. The male characters are somewhat flimsy by comparison and it is hard to sympathise with them, apart perhaps from Danner, who seems to be a genuinely good man. The various twists and turns of the story are sometimes rather hard to accept, parti
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