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The Joy Luck Club
The Joy Luck Club
Author: Amy Tan — Four mothers, four daughters, four families whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who's "saying" the stories. In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared unspeakable loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. Rather...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780143038092
ISBN-10: 0143038095
Publication Date: 9/21/2006
Pages: 288
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.

4.1 stars, based on 137 ratings
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Joy Luck Club on + 582 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
I loved this book and the movie. It was wonderful to be so personally involved with each persons story. I really felt like I was there with them.
Long after I read the book the characters still stick with me.
reviewed The Joy Luck Club on + 164 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This is a *very* good book. I especially liked the sections about China. I love the way they are written, and the descriptions of things are just gorgeous. They really give you a feeling for the mind and the culture of the woman narrating at the time.

Amy Tan did a good job of keeping the story going coherently, even though she had the book divided into 16 sections narrated by 8 different characters. Pretty impressive! So the story comes out more as a one about Chinese immigrants to the U.S. and the next generation as a whole instead of one specific character's story, but it really does work.

The whole time I was reading this book, I was thinking about how this was the start of that group-of-women stories trend. For a while, there was a run of stories about 4 friends, or a group of friends, or 3 generations of women, etc...both in print and at the movies.

This may be a teensy bit of a spoiler, just to warn anyone who might want to know! Okay, I have one thing to say to the (okay, so they're fictional characters) daughters in this book (and please note that I am largely just joking around from here on out). Ladies, I'm sorry, but you don't get to claim your problems with getting your fellas through a meet-the-family dinners or family houseguests entirely on intercultural issues! Partially, of course, but entirely? Nope, no way. At least 2 of you did absolutely no prep work with your guys at all! I mean, it takes at least 10 minutes for me to tip any new guy off on how to charm my family, and that's for just the easy family members, and I'd certainly expect him to do the same for me. How long would it have taken to explain that dear old mom is really begging for compliments when she says her meal didn't come out well, and that everyone is supposed to tell her it's the best meal ever and couldn't be better? Honestly, I noticed a distinct lack of effort on your parts, girls, leaving you with at least part of the blame for troubles in that area. Sheesh! ;)
reviewed The Joy Luck Club on + 49 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Story about 4 chinese women. alternates back and forth between modern day and when they were girls. Most people have seen the movie. This book is required reading in most highschools on the east coast. I liked it. Some really moving parts, haunting almost.
reviewed The Joy Luck Club on
Helpful Score: 4
I don't know why I never read this before, it's been widely available for sometime and yet I ignored it. After a recommendation from a co-worker, I sourced a copy to read. It's a beautiful story - there's something magical about Amy Tan's writing that just sucked me into this story about four mothers and daughters. While the the mothers are Chinese and their daughters are first generation Chinese-American, I think some of the relationships are indicative of many mother-daughter relationships. At times I found it confusing trying to remember which character was speaking, but when I just gave up and read the stories for what they were, it was much easier going. An excellent read - one I wish I had read ages ago. I will definitely be on the lookout for more of Amy Tan's work.
reviewed The Joy Luck Club on + 472 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
"The Joy Luck Club" shows the universal yet distinctive everyday conflicts of ethnic parents raising American children. The reader begin a journey with four Chinese mothers and daughters through series of storytelling in which all the woman take a flashback to their childhood or some previous memory. The novel, also extracts how the American lifestyle which is different from the lifestyle the mother's were accustomed to. This creates a gap between the mother and daughters. The Joy Luck Club itself is a club where one mother, Suyuan Woo, created with three other Chinese woman in order to save and collect money as a group and bring up the spirits during World War II. After Suyuan dies, her daughter, Jing-mei, takes her spot in the club and in the process finds out more about her mother, such as, Jing-mei has two half-sisters. The discoveries allow not only Jing-mei but the readers to leave the book with hope as a closer bond with her mother is formed. Jing-mei creates closure with her mother's death as the readers and along with Jing-mei learn the sacrifices and loyalties for all mothers when raising their daughters.
Since the novel is divided into four major parts, in which the mothers speak out in the first section, readers are never bored, for there is a new exciting adventure that begins as each mother and daughter tells their individual story. Even though the structure contributes to keeping the readers attention, readers may find it hard to collect and remember all the stories together.
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