The Hundred Secret Senses

The Hundred Secret Senses

Paperback - 2010
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The "wisest and most captivating novel" ( Boston Globe ) from the author of the bestselling The Valley of Amazement and the new memoir Where the Past Begins

Set in San Francisco and in a remote village of Southwestern China, Amy Tan's The Hundred Secret Senses is a tale of American assumptions shaken by Chinese ghosts and broadened with hope. In 1962, five-year-old Olivia meets the half-sister she never knew existed, eighteen-year-old Kwan from China, who sees ghosts with her "yin eyes." Decades later, Olivia describes her complicated relationship with her sister and her failing marriage, as Kwan reveals her story, sweeping the reader into the splendor and violence of mid-nineteenth century China. With her characteristic wisdom, grace, and humor, Tan conjures up a story of the inheritance of love, its secrets and senses, its illusions and truths.
Publisher: New York :, Penguin Books,, [2010]
Copyright Date: ©1995
ISBN: 9780143119081
Branch Call Number: FIC TAN
Characteristics: 358 pages ; 21 cm


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Oct 23, 2017

This was the kind of story that made me just want to read right to the end in one sitting. The story itself, although interesting, was not the real reason. I just loved Tan's writing; her way of relating thoughts as interesting inner conversations with oneself. Her characters are always interesting and this story about two half-sisters really kept my attention. Olivia meets her half-sister when Kwan-Li arrives from China at the age of fourteen. She speaks an endearing, or annoying depending on your perspective, kind of English, and takes to Olivia in a big way proclaiming she will look after her always. It seems Kwan Li can see dead people with her yin eyes and believes that people are born again just to be with those they love. To enjoy this story you must believe that Kwan Li is exactly who she says she is with the abilities she says she has. I found her delightful with her fractured English and her seemingly always sunny disposition. Olivia in her own way was also endearing with her frustrations and her doubts about her life and her anguish about not having a child. As excellent a read as Tan's other books.

Apr 04, 2013

Pop fiction. Set in California and Southern China, this novel tells the story of a woman and her half-sister, who see ghosts and tell ghost stories set in the 19th century. Unconvincing and unsatisfying.

penpencil22 Jun 24, 2011

My all-time favorite book by Amy Tan. gotta love Kwan :)

Feb 11, 2011

This was a magical book, hard to put down...finished it rather quickly due to compelling story and interesting characters.

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