The Valley of Amazement

By Amy Tan

The Valley of Amazement - Amy Tan
  • Release Date: 2013-11-05
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4
From 904 Ratings


Amy Tan’s The Valley of Amazement is a sweeping, evocative epic of two women’s intertwined fates and their search for identity, that moves from the lavish parlors of Shanghai courtesans to the fog-shrouded mountains of a remote Chinese village.

Spanning more than forty years and two continents, The Valley of Amazement resurrects pivotal episodes in history: from the collapse of China’s last imperial dynasty, to the rise of the Republic, the explosive growth of lucrative foreign trade and anti-foreign sentiment, to the inner workings of courtesan houses and the lives of the foreign “Shanghailanders” living in the International Settlement, both erased by World War II.

A deeply evocative narrative about the profound connections between mothers and daughters, The Valley of Amazement returns readers to the compelling territory of Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club. With her characteristic insight and humor, she conjures a story of inherited trauma, desire and deception, and the power and stubbornness of love.


  • A challenging read

    By Ephemera Danica
    This is a book that is so far removed from my normal reading material that I wonder why I ever started it. Having started however, I found it to be a compulsive read although at times it labored. But where I would typically abandon a book that was not holding my interest, I found I could not put this one down and forced myself to traverse those sections that labored. Tracing the lives of three generations of women, the depths of emotion that was created and the quality of the writing makes the book quite exceptional.
  • Must read!!

    By Leo817ting
    This book was exciting from beginning to end, I was caught by surprise in each chapter. A very beautifully written novel.
  • The Valley of Amazement

    By Jklmnopyhjk
    Haven't read a book by Amy Tan in years (sadly), and now I remember why I was compelled to read The Joy Luck Club twice through at age 18. What a beautiful story, written so well.
  • So-So

    By Jobo238
    I love Amy Tan books but I didn’t like this one that much. I found it depressing. I don’t doubt that this is the way things were in China in the late 1890s and early 1900s but I didn’t find it very inspiring.
  • Another Great Read from Amy Tan

    By Uprite Bear
    Amy Tan continues to give us books we don't want to put down....and don't want to end.
  • Valley of Amazement

    By Leen3d
    I devoured this book. Refreshing! The characters had depth, their personalities deep and rich with emotion and interest. Their stories were compelling yet simple, credible, and interwoven. If anything was missing, the book lost opportunities for adding appropriate historical background of the times. Adding relevant doses throughout the novel would have made made this book, epic.
  • Valley of Amazement, Read it.

    By DonnieboyT
    The book didn't grab me at first. But then it does, the history and different culture, no world, was fascinating. At times brutal but very much a love story. I've read several of Amy's books now and I put this one right near the top. I loved it.
  • Another Stellar

    By gdfrnd1418
    I consider myself an avid reader. Could read all day and sleep all night. This book had me so entranced I wanted to read all day and read all night. I'll sleep when I'm dead. Loved it, loved the characters, and altho it sounds lame, I felt like I was there, sitting next to Loyalty, arguing with Perpetual, having Little Flora taken from my arms, screaming her name, forgiving my mother after so many years of angst and misgivings, conversations with Magic Gourd, finally escaping and stumbling away from Moon Pond. Beautiful. Simply and wonderously, beautiful.
  • Long drawn out mess

    By AliHar
    I love Amy Tan but this book is a mess. I think she was trying for the sweep of history but missed it by revisiting the same ground over and over. The story lines between mothers and daughters were good but there was just too much of everything else in between. The middle part describing a courtesan's sexual skills felt like a complete add-on and did nothing to move the story forward. If you want to enjoy Amy Tan, try another of her finer works. This one needed a stronger editor unafraid of her famous author.
  • The Valley of Amazement

    By Chelbrijme03
    Did anyone notice the names of the people that had some influence in Violets life gave of their personality and their role they took in the life of Violet, Lucia and Flora? Their names meant flower and they lived a life of which is similar of a flower girl.. Loyalty name meant just that. The apple does not fall far from the tree sort of speak in this book, revenge can be heart braking and evil. The chapters about Lucia was boring and redundant, useless. This book did make me cry, laugh... Was in all fascinating.