Book #9 of the 2015 Reading Challenge – The Kitchen God’s Wife by Amy Tan

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Read a book by a female author. Read a book a friend recommended.

When I was a student at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense City, I had an American literature professor, who used to keep track of his students’ yawning. His philosophy was that when he noticed the first student yawning during his class, he’d be on alert and by the second or third yawn (I can’t remember which), he’d call for a short break and let everyone get a cup of coffee, some fresh air and stretch their legs.

Reading The Kitchen God’s Wife by Amy Tan made me remember this, because it’s the kind of book that makes you yawn…and fall asleep. Or maybe that’s just me! I know I’m reading a boring book if I keep falling asleep in the act, which is what happened every time I picked up this novel.

It’s unfortunate, because it was recommended and given to me by a very nice lady I know. It’s a New York Times Bestseller (which I know by now is not necessarily a mark of a good novel that’s worth reading) and the description on the back is even enticing:

Winnie and Helen, lifelong friends, have kept each other’s secrets for more than fifty years. When Helen decides it’s time to reveal the truth, Winnie knows that she must first tell her daughter, Pearl, about her past – including something terrible that even Helen does not know.

It’s a 400-page novel and the secret is already revealed within the first 100 pages…or maybe it’s just part of the secret? I didn’t make it past 120 pages before I decided to quit. I didn’t feel there was any page-turning element present in this story – something that keeps the story moving forward and keeps you reading to find out what happened or will happen to the characters. It’s a slow narrative where a woman tells her daughter about her life (as far as I read), but it’s not really interesting, despite the fact that Amy Tan is a “master storyteller” as is written on the back cover.

Perhaps you’ve had better luck with it?

 

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