The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan Summary Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Valley of Amazement

Plot Summary Part 1

Violet is a young girl living in her mother's whorehouse in Shanghai in the early 1900's, shortly after whoring was invented, probably by her mother, Lulu. Lulu sees nothing wrong with having a young girl hang around a whorehouse. Violet is half-Chinese but doesn't find that out until later, thinking she is pure white American. She is told her father is dead, which is 100% true except for the fact that her father is very much alive.

Lulu employed whores as young as 13 years old, so she is a pimp for pedophiles. Lulu prides herself on running a high-class whorehouse. What is the difference between a high class whorehouse and a common one? The answer: high class whore houses have better furniture.

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Violet loves Lulu very much. She liked to watch Lulu's child whores getting boned by their clients. She liked the animal sounds the whores made when they had their whore orgasms. One time Violet saw a whore in the doggie style position and saw a man riding her like a "trotting pony" until he fell off, heh heh. Violet, even at the age of 8, imagines being boned like a trotting pony and it excites her. She has the urge to be a whore in her blood.

Violet is jealous of her mom because she shared her affections with various men who boned her. She felt Lulu didn't love her very much. Lulu says that her father is dead and won't tell her anything about him. But then Violet finds out her father is alive and it makes her angry.

One day a whore says that Violet, who thinks she is 100% white, is part Chinese. This upsets Violet and she beats the whore up. Lulu forces the whore to leave her whorehouse and tells Violet to ignore what the whore said. Lulu worried that she has slitty eyes like Chinese people. She practices keeping her eyes open as wide as she could so she would look like a white person.

Violet overhears Lulu talking to her close friend, Golden Dove (also a prostitute--all women in this book are prostitutes, get used to it), saying that Violet's father is coming to visit and that Lulu should shoot his p_nis off. She really says that.

Violet spies and finds out that her father is Lu Shing, a Chinese man, which means that she is half Chinese. Violet hates being half Chinese. She thinks being white is superior. She felt nauseated and vomited at the thought of being part Chinese. Then she finds out she has a brother named Teddy who she has never seen, because Lu Shing's family took him away. You'll find out more about Teddy in ABOUT 400 PAGES. It's that kind of book.

Lulu says they are leaving Shanghai and going to San Francisco to meet Teddy. A con man named Fairweather persuades Lulu to let him buy the ship tickets for her voyage. There is a problem with Violet's passport and he claims that he can help with that. Lulu knows he is a con man and knows she should refuse his help. And she does, until Fairweather puts his Fairweather p_nis inside her v_gina, and all sense leaves her. Lulu gives Fairweather her money, and doesn't even question it when Fairweather insists that he personally take Violet to the ship and tells Lulu should meet them there separately. As Violet observed: "I saw it in her eyes. She had grown stupid. I left the room."

Lulu, like a complete retard, agrees. When she gets on the shop Fairweather is not there and neither is Lulu. But Lulu stays on the ship even when it leaves port, still expecting them to show up.

What Fairweather has done is to take control of Lulu's brothel and sold Violet into sexual slavery at a competing brothel. Violet is horrified to be sold into a life of prostitution (she is only 14), for several minutes. Then she quickly decides she likes it.

Violet never tries to escape. Violet eagerly learns the lessons of being a whore. Violet cooperates and spreads her legs voluntarily again and again. Violet is taken care of by a whore named Magic Gourd. Magic Gourd, who used to work for Lulu, feels like a mother to Violet, and promises to help her learn how to be the best child prostitute she can be. Violet is grateful for her help.

Meanwhile Violet's Mom is told that Violet is dead, so she isn't even looking for her.

Magic Gourd tells Violet her life story. She was hired to be a maid and was training for a promotion to concubine for a couple's son. But Magic Gourd got pregnant at 11 years of age and was told she was no longer wholesome enough to be a concubine for their son. Another woman shoved a tube into her v_gina and put some broth down the tube.  But Magic Gourd's v_gina was not very thirsty and she screamed. Two days later Magic Gourd gave birth to a "bloody ball". Then some lady sewed up her v_gina so she could pretend to be a virgin again.

Magic G became a whore and was rented as a virgin. She even bled when her first client boned her. But her client was sad to learn that her v_gina had been sewed up. He had wanted to go where no man had gone before, heh heh.

Back in the present, the pimp running the whorehouse died and was replaced with a new one. Violet could have used this opportunity to escape but she didn't because she very much wanted to become a child prostitute.

Magic Gourd teaches Violet how to seduce men, how she should bend over and show them her v_gina, how she should rub against a tree in public like she is boning it, how she should let men rub her v_gina at the opera, and how she can lift her skirt on windy days to show men her v_gina.

Magic told Violet that she would give her sea sponges to put in her v_gina to suck up her v_gina blood. She also told her she would give her special moss to glue over her v_gina if the sponges can't absorb it all. She promises to give Violet birth control herbs, and to have an abortionist kill her baby if she gets pregnant. She says she will help shave Violet's pubic hair and moustache. Evidently Violet is one of those girls with a moustache, heh heh.

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