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The Valley of Amazement

The Valley of Amazement

Author(s): Amy Tan

Location(s): Shanghai

Genre(s): Fiction, Historical

Era(s): Turn of the 19th Century onwards

Location

Content

In fin de siècle 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. Violet’s need for answers propels her on a quest of discovery: a journey to make sense of her life, to right the wrongs of the past – to find love requited.

Spanning fifty years and two continents, The Valley of Amazement dramatises the collapse of China’s imperial dynasty and the secret life of the courtesan house. Unfolding old family secrets, this novel returns readers to the compelling territory of The Joy Luck Club. With her characteristic wisdom, grace and humour, she conjures a story of the inheritance of love, its mysteries and betrayals, and its illusions and truths.

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Incredibly evocative.’ Good Housekeeping

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