The book club selection for April is The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan. This is Amy Tan's fourth novel and like much of her work it deals with the relationship between an American-born Chinese woman and her immigrant mother.
The Bonesetter's Daughter is divided into two major stories. The first is about Ruth, a Chinese-American woman living in San Francisco. She worries that her elderly mother, LuLing, is gradually becoming more and more demented. LuLing seems increasingly forgetful, and makes bizarre comments about her family and her own past.
The second major story is that of LuLing herself, as written for Ruth. Several years earlier, LuLing had written out her life story in Chinese. Ruth arranges to have the document translated, and learns the truth about her mother's life in China.
Memory plays an important role in The Bonesetter's Daughter. How is Ruth's life affected by her childhood memories? How do LuLing's memories affect her behavior around Ruth?
To frame the novel, Tan uses the device of a story within a story. How is this effective in bringing past and present together?
What is the significance of Ruth's learning the family name at the end of the book? What does Ruth learn about her name that helps change her opinion of her mother?
Let us know what you think of The Bonesetter's Daughter.
Welcome to the KPL Book Club Blogspot
Welcome to the internet home of the Kilbourn Public Library (KPL) Book Club. The KPL Book Club meets at the library once a month. A book is chosen for each month and then members of the book club meet the last Monday and Wednesday of every month for lively discussion and treats. While we can’t offer you treats via the internet, this KPL Reads blog was designed for those of you who would like to participate in the book club but don’t have time to join us at meetings. Each month KPL staff will post discussion topics and questions to get you “talking”. Join in the discussion by adding a post to the blog. Click on the word comments below the post you want to "talk" about and write your comment. Be sure to check back often to see feedback and comments.