The Valley of Amazement, Paperback
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


An expansive, heartbreaking novel from the internationally bestselling author of 'The Joy Luck Club'.

In turn-of-the-century Shanghai, Violet Minturn is raised by her American mother, the mistress of the city's most renowned courtesan house.

When the revolution comes, a cruel deception forces Violet to become a virgin courtesan. 'The Valley of Amazement' is the story of three women, bound by blood and betrayal.

But, as she struggles to understand her heritage, it is Violet's determination to forge her own destiny that propels this bittersweet tale of family secrets, changing identities and lost love.




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Much as I love Amy Tan's novels I was disappointed by this one's inconsistency and disjointedness. It was fascinating to read about the practices and rituals associated with being a courtesan in early 20th century Shanghai but much of the rest of book dragged and jumped from one unlikely event to the next. Not my favourite Tan novel by far and even though it feels like it is set up for a sequel I am not sure that I would bother reading one.