'The Kitchen God's Wife' was Amy Tan's second novel, after the hugely successful 'Joy Luck Club'. It is a much heavier novel than Joy Luck, mainly because it is influenced by the true life story of Daisy Tan, Amy's mother, who had many terrible experiences in China before emigrating to America and establishing the family Amy Tan grew up in. The book's main theme is a mother-daughter relationship, rather dysfunctional, which we discover is due to complete misunderstanding and a number of deceptions. Winnie, the mother, has kept secrets from her daughter Pearl for over forty years and it is only under the threats of Auntie Helen, an annoying but lovable family friend, that she decides to tell all to Pearl. Winnie's story is a harrowing one, including physical and emotional abuse, war, death of loved ones, prison..........it's even more harrowing when you realise it's based on a true story. As in all good stories, true or not, the end is at least partly happy: mother and daughter grow closer or at least respect each other more, and the book ends on a positive note. The book is well written and compelling, taking the reader through a variety of emotions as the story unfolds. From pre revolution China, through the Sino-Japanese War, and eventually modern day America, the reader laughs and cries together with Winnie. An incredible book, highly recommended: if you have to read it for your studies, don't be lazy, read it: you won't regret it. Amy Tan, if by some freak occurance you ever read this, I would like to apologise for doing such an unprofessional review to a great book.