Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004
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*****= An all-time favorite
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****The Opposite of Fate

by Amy Tan

Reviewed June 23, 2004.
G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 2003.  398 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (813.54 TAN).
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004, #4, Personal Stories and Reflections

The Opposite of Fate is a collection of essays by Amy Tan on many different subjects.  Much of the book is autobiographical, and she led a fascinating life.  In these musings, she explores her relationship with her mother, and her beliefs that were formed by having a Christian pastor father and a superstitious mother.  She talks about her life as an author, how she became an author, the misunderstandings she’s faced, and the joys writing has brought her.

That description and summary doesn’t do this book justice.  I loved The Opposite of Fate, and felt I had been given a window into a delightful person’s mind.  She says, “I also think of reading as an act of faith, a hope I will discover something remarkable about ordinary life, about myself.  And if the writer and the reader discover the same thing, if they have that connection, the act of faith has resulted in an act of magic.  To me, that’s the mystery and the wonder of both life and fiction—the connection between two unique individuals who discover in the end that they are more the same than they are different.”

Amy Tan has made that magical connection with me in this delightful book.

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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