I read this when it came out: I thought I had written a review, right? Maintain - (all these years later) - a wonderful and lasting reading impression. The culture, the relationships: struggles and love, the meals, everything was delicious.
Amy Tan writes about women (complex women!) And I think that's one of the things I love about her books. The men in their stories are shadows, almost undeveloped, with little presence, except when they are cruel and threatening. I found this closed world of wonderfully refreshing women, especially after reading so many books where men are the main focus. In The Godfather, Mario Puzo jumped to the point of view of Mama Corleone for just a little; Long enough to reveal that Mafi's wife Amy Tan writes about women (complex women!) and I think that's one of the things I love about her books. The men in their stories are shadows, almost undeveloped, with little presence, except when they are cruel and threatening. I found this closed world of wonderfully refreshing women, especially after reading so many books where men are the main focus. In The Godfather, Mario Puzo jumped to the point of view of Mama Corleone for just a little; long enough to reveal that the wife of the mafia godfather did not care about her husband's violent world. She did not care. After all, men never cared about women's problems. They were from two different worlds, and this separate vision reminded me of Winnie, the main character in The Kitchen God's Wife. Winnie is so far away from her cruel husband that she does not even know if Wen Fu is a gangster, and Tan does not confirm it either. After all, it is not important. The main focus is all about women. And women are alive too. Winnie and Helen come alive. At the end of the book I felt I knew them ... quite well. Both their personalities and their voices are so strong. I can still imagine them arguing with each other. And they are also friends, true friends, who resent and care about each other. They even talk trash, however, they are still stuck. I found this push and pull so real. There's always a little skill with friends, and Tan knows it. You want good things for your friends, but you never want them to be too successful or too happy. It's like sibling rivalry. Another great character was Auntie Du, who is an older woman without a husband (died) and without money. She can not even write. But she turns out to be this beautiful hero, whom she just wanted to hug. In a society that underestimates widows and sorceresses, I loved that she saved the day and did not even ask for credit. What a great character! As with all of Tan's books, I love his simple but lyrical prose, and I love all the details he adds about China before and after the war. So it takes you to a different world and a different culture, but it makes it familiar by simply introducing yourself to these fascinating and defective women. The love and pain that they feel is universal, and in the end I found myself quite dazed, thinking of the friends and family that are in the world of my own wife. The problems I had with this book were the slow parts. Winnie's daughter, Pearl, is definitely not as interesting as her mother (although the relationship with her mother seemed heartwarming to me). Wen Fu (Winnie's husband) is almost too cruel, too inhuman. It is such a monster. I really hated it, which is good for a villain. But like all Tan's men, he was a shadow, very evil, but nevertheless a shadow. I think Tan revealed too much from the end to the beginning when Pearl is telling her story. Make Winnie come back and explain how things led to where she was in the present, when you already know the result, it kills the suspense a lot. But overall, I really enjoyed this. If you have never read a Tan book, you will be transported instantly to a new world. But if you have read her other books, you will definitely recognize many of the same themes and types of characters she normally writes about. I give the wife of God from the kitchen **** ½. It's a great book! ...Plus