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Kwan, a seventeen-year-old Chinese half-sister, turns young Olivia's world upside down with her stories of ghosts of another time, tales that have a profound impact on Olivia's life and imagination, until she discovers a way to reconcile the ghosts of the past with her dreams of the future.
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I hadn't read an Amy Tan book since Kitchen God's Wife and it was refreshing to see that she just gets better and better with her storytelling! This book was a lot more authentic. Kwan Li, Olivia's stepsister was such an intriguing character who had much more depth as you got to know her. In fact, she had so much depth that I feel like I missed somethings by reading this book only once. Kwan's ability to link the present with the past in a believable fashion was an example of Amy Tan's talent.
-Ceneta Lee Williams, Ballantine National Account ManagerFrom the Inside Flap:
The Hundred Secret Senses is an exultant novel about China and America, love and loyalty, the identities we invent and the true selves we discover along the way. Olivia Laguni is half-Chinese, but typically American in her uneasiness with her patchwork family. And no one in Olivia's family is more embarrassing to her than her half-sister, Kwan Li. For Kwan speaks mangled English, is cheerfully deaf to Olivia's sarcasm, and sees the dead with her "yin eyes."
Even as Olivia details the particulars of her decades-long grudge against her sister (who, among other things, is a source of infuriatingly good advice), Kwan Li is telling her own story, one that sweeps us into the splendor, squalor, and violence of Manchu China. And out of the friction between her narrators, Amy Tan creates a work that illuminates both the present and the past sweetly, sadly, hilariously, with searing and vivid prose.
"Truly magical...unforgettable...this novel...shimmer[s] with meaning."--San Diego Tribune
"The Hundred Secret Senses doesn't simply return to a world but burrows more deeply into it, following new trails to fresh revelations."--Newsweek
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