WARNING: The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan will a make you cry. It will make you cry a lot if you have children.

Amy Tan manages to again write a painfully emotional story about the relationships of mothers and daughters. The Valley of Amazement addresses several generations of broken relationships and the consequences of that pain. The broken relationships between parents and their children bleed across the generations. That pain becomes a cycle and leaves no member of the family untouched.

Tan writes the stories of each woman in a touching and relatable manner. Much like her other work, The Joy Luck Club, different parts of the story are told from the perspectives of different characters. This changing of viewpoints allows the reader to relate to each of the characters and understand their motivations and pains.

The Valley of Amazement is heartbreaking and as I read the story of a mother whose babies are kidnapped or a mother whose baby is ripped from her arms, my heart broke. I scooped up my own baby, kissed his sweet smelling head, and enjoyed the weight of his body in my arms. Amy Tan has a way of writing emotions so that they reach out and grab the reader.

I recommend reading The Valley of Amazement with a cup of ginger tea. The tea is warm and soothing which is initially comforting but then it bites you with the sharp heat of ginger. This novel by Amy Tan has that same hot bite.


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