Home » Book Club ~ The Kitchen Gods Wife

Book Club ~ The Kitchen Gods Wife

Hmmm huuhh-Sigh…wat wat waahhhh.  Are you in a bookclub?  Does is seem like your club goes through periods of the reading blues, or times that book club members just don’t read the book?  Our book club has been together for just over a year now.  Here’s what we’ve read, and our thumbs up or down opinion for your next book club read.

The Paris Wife  thumbs up

Room thumbs up

Zeitoun thumbs neither up nor down (But it is a timely read with hurricane season upon us.)

The Distant Land of My Father thumbs up

Birds of Paradise thumbs down

11-22-63 thumbs up

Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children thumbs up


The last months book selection was The Kitchen Gods Wife by Amy Tan.  This was my first Amy Tan book.  I had heard so many good reviews on The Joy Luck Club.  When I asked people if they enjoyed her books nearly everyone I asked said they did.  Especially The Kitchen Gods Wife.  So naturally I was excited to read it.

Good Reads is always my go to source when finding out about a book,  here is what they had say:

3.87 stars out of 5

The inside cover:

Amy Tan’s The Kitchen Gods Wife :

Winnie and Helen have kept each other’s worst secrets for more than fifty years. Now, because she believes she is dying, Helen wants to expose everything. And Winnie angrily determines that she must be the one to tell her daughter, Pearl, about the past—including the terrible truth even Helen does not know. And so begins Winnie’s story of her life on a small island outside Shanghai in the 1920s, and other places in China during World War II, and traces the happy and desperate events that led to Winnie’s coming to America in 1949.


My review of The Kitchen Gods Wife:  Maybe I expected too much.  I tend to do that with books sometimes, and life too for that matter.  I had heard and read so much hype about this book that when I finally read it it fell flat for me.  The characters were flat, the story seemed one sided.  And I still have not figured out for the life of me who or what the Kitchen God is and how this even fits into the book.  This sort of annoyed me through the whole book.  So if you read this book and understand the Kitchen God tie in….please enlighten me in the comments, thank you.  I love you. Can you tell it ‘s been bothering me…keeping me awake at night.

Don’t get me wrong.  I never contemplated putting this book down and not finishing it.  The story kept me going.  But characters annoyed.  Pearls husband annoyed me.  The secret keeping and constant twist of  half truths and lies in the book, gave me a tummy ache.  Not telling the truth makes me nervous, even when it’s in a fictional novel, and I’m only the reader.  The fact that Pearl was so passive with her cousins also tugged at me.

I wanted a two way conversation between Pearl and her mother….what mother sits down and vomits out her whole sorted life to her daughter, in one day, over a cup of tea?

It is well written, I’m not suggesting that Amy Tan is a poor story teller.  I have taken into consideration the cultural differences…if you asked me if you should read it?, I would say “it wasn’t my least favorite book, if you are an avid reader then read it, if you are picky choosey and only have time to read occasionally I might say spend your time on something else.”


Overall:  All the BUCs (Babes under the Covers) were pretty much agreed on this one.  I think only 6 of us finished the book, several started and never finished.  The discussion was decent, but not the best we’ve had over a book.  Kitchen God fell flat for everyone.  And all of us were in confusion about how the kitchen god tied in.   So again I ask, if you get this please , please do tell.  Thumbs down.

Details of the night:  I love my foodie book club girls.  Linda-lou….not really lou, I just like to call her that, hosted in her loverly home.  We all trickled in from our busy lives and settled in to easy conversation over the yummy Asian themed food Linda made and that I lost the pictures of!  This is becoming a habit, either I forget to take pictures of book club or I take them and I loose them.  Trust me the food was GOOD.  Egg rolls, Red Cabbage Asian Slaw, Lettuce Wraps, edamame, and a delicious Rice and Mango dessert that I could have eaten endlessly.  Bravo Linda-lou it was a great night!  Thanks for hosting.


Next Book Club: We meet again in November…which is nearly here already!  Sheesh where did October go?  Or September for that matter?!   This months book is completely different than anything we have read.  I’m excited to discuss.  Have you read The Last Romanov by Dora Levy Mossanen.  It’s an historical fiction based loosely on the Romanov family, the last family to rule in the imperial dynasty over Russia.  My mom would love this book….I’m not going to tell you what I think yet, I’m not done.

So....What are you reading these days?

This is not a book club pick, but it’s what I’m reading next! Honey Bees fascinate me, I’m not sure how much work it would be to be a keeper…Do you keep bees? I would love to talk to you about it.

January’s Book Club pick: The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

“Top to bottom, left to right, reading stuff is outta site!”    Who said that???

Thanks for stopping in!  Keep on reading!  Love, Sheila

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I love your book club posts. I’ve never read The Hobbit before, so I am doing the Hobbit Read Along at redeemedreader.com. We will finish the book just before the movie comes out. I’m also reading Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, I always feel like my review is a bit shloppy…glad you enjoy. Thanks for stopping by. xoxox Sheila

  2. I know I read this but did we read it at the beginning of the summer? For some reason I love books about Chinese family. I’m not, however, a huge Amy Tan fan. I try not to hold that against her.
    Illness. Family secrets. Sacrifice. Hard Work. Thrift. Importance of Education. These are things we all want for our children… I find it sad that Helen and Pearl never had the conversation. That Pearl married such an A$$! That Helen (that was the mother’s name, right? or was that the “sister?) kept such secrets. That such secrets HAD to be kept! yikes!
    I followed up “Kitchen God’s Wife” with a bodice ripper. yeah, you know the ones! The ones that have Fabio or an out of work Argentinian Polo Player on the cover. I was much restored after the bodice ripper! I will definitely look for the November read if I can find it in my post Hurricane Sandy library which is over run with people charging all of their stuff!

  3. Please friend me on Goodreads (above name) I read 100 books last year and signed on for 115 this year but I changed it baci to 100 as I knew that was too many. I get most of my books from our local
    librasry. Just finished “Salting Roses” a story of a kidnapped baby who grew up to 25 before she was
    found by her grandmother Very interesting story but could never be true.
    I use to be in a local book club but no more. My favorite secular book of all time is “Gone With The Wind” which I read when I was 12 or 13 by sneaking around as my mama said I couldn’t read it the year it was published. Also have seen the movie probably a dozen times. I also have read the Bible from beginning to end several times. Once during a 90 day challenge. Can you tell I love to read.

    1. I am definitely friending you on Good Reads! Hokey Smokes you read like my mom. She can buzzz through a 500 page book in one sitting. I have never read the Bible from beginning to end, but I think I have covered most of it through studies, devotions, and just opening it up and reading where ever the Spirit leads! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. MWah! oxoxo

  4. Our book club is reading “the rent collector”. About a family in cambodia living in a garbage dump. Those who’ve finished it can’t wait for book club! A few others have been the devil in the white city, the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society, the book thief, the unthinkable and one second after,the last lecture, the anatomy if peace… i could go on… 🙂 oh and my teen boyss and i have enjoyed Michael Vey. Series (like the I am number 4 series) – if you like some young adult fiction

    1. Thanks for all the great recommendations! I am always looking for books that my boys will read. They love to read, but it’s hard to find books that grab their interests. I putting The Rent Collector in the pot for our next book club choice! Have a great day!

  5. I miss reading!!! It seems I just have not made the time for much reading lately. I think the last book I finished was One Thousand Gifts over a month ago. Before that I read The Art of Racing in The Rain which I really enjoyed. I think a book club sounds like so much fun!

    1. Art of Racing in the Rain is on my list of “want to reads”. I always wish I had more time to read. It gets easier as your kiddos get older, at least it did for me. Now we all sit around with our noses in books together ; )

  6. I love it when food bloggers talk about what they have been reading. My two favorite hobbies! It’s too bad you didn’t like the Amy Tan book. I read The Joy Luck Club and honestly, didn’t really care for it either. The moms were so mean to their daughters! Right now I am reading Cloud Atlas. I saw the trailer for the movie and decided to read the book first. Very interesting so far. BTW, that KDL sticker on your bee book is very familiar to me! My library (TK) is tiny, so I have to get most of my books through inter-library loan. Feel free to friend me on Goodreads (Lesa Roemke) if you would like to compare notes on books.

    1. Lesa, I will definitely friend you on Good REads, I’m kind of lazy about finding friends on there, but I will do it eventually. Thanks for the recommendation of Cloud Atlas, that ones new to me. I sure wish I had more time to read!