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The Joy Luck Club (1989)

by Amy Tan

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
15,165167250 (3.87)329
In 1949, four Chinese women--drawn together by the shadow of their past--begin meeting in San Francisco to play mah jong, invest in stocks and "say" stories. They call their gathering the Joy Luck Club--and forge a relationship that binds them for more than three decades.
  1. 30
    Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang (Jennie_103)
    Jennie_103: Another story of generations of chinese women.
  2. 10
    The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy (laytonwoman3rd)
    laytonwoman3rd: This novel explores similar themes of the generation gap in immigrant Chinese families---the "old ways" in conflict with the new world.
  3. 00
    Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (sturlington)
  4. 00
    Fifth Chinese Daughter by Jade Snow Wong (Imprinted)
  5. 00
    Sweet Mandarin: The Courageous True Story of Three Generations of Chinese Women and Their Journey from East to West by Helen Tse (elbakerone)
  6. 00
    Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat (Othemts)
    Othemts: In a superficial way this book reminds me of the stories of Amy Tan in that they show the strains of relationships between mothers and daughters, immigrants and American-born.

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» See also 329 mentions

English (154)  Dutch (4)  Catalan (3)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  German (1)  All languages (165)
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
The Joy Luck Club is about four Chinese mothers who play mahjong together and their daughters. At the beginning of the book, one of the mothers has passed away and the club invites her daughter to take her spot. This book isn’t one continuous narrative. There are sixteen vignettes that are interwoven with each other. They provide a glimpse into the pasts of each woman which sheds light on why they are the way they are in the present day. The mothers all have some sort of hardship or tragedy in their pasts that have informed how they parented their daughters. Unfortunately, because of their culture, they are either vague or downright secretive about what has happened to them, which causes harm to their relationships with their daughters.

I enjoyed that this book was told from multiple perspectives. I like learning the motivation behind each character’s choices. The way it was structured allowed every woman’s character to be well-developed. I did have some trouble keeping track of which daughter belonged to which mother but luckily there is a handy dandy chart in the front of the book to help with that. Now that I’ve read the book, I want to see the movie, which I’ve heard is really good. I know I’m a little late to the party on that – the movie was released in 1993! ( )
  mcelhra | Jul 19, 2020 |
A lovely, honest set of tales covering two generations of Chinese and Chinese-American women. The tales are variously intriguing and touching, and the ending is downright moving. A fine little first novel. ( )
  imlee | Jul 7, 2020 |
A lovely, honest set of tales covering two generations of Chinese and Chinese-American women. The tales are variously intriguing and touching, and the ending is downright moving. A fine little first novel. ( )
  leezeebee | Jul 6, 2020 |
This was fascinating, touching, and heartbreaking all at once. I loved how it explored the complicated relationships between all the main characters and why they are the way they are - though it wasn't always easy and I certainly didn't always agree with them. The aspects of Chinese culture and history it went into were also really interesting and I really liked the way it was written and the story was unraveled. ( )
  j_tuffi | May 30, 2020 |
LOVE this book. One of the only books I've read that's close to the movie as well. I remember watching this as a kid and I've read the book twice so far. Will keep forever. ( )
  smooody106 | Apr 17, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
In Tan's hands, these linked stories - diverse as they are - fit almost magically into a powerfully coherent novel, whose winning combination of ingredients - immigrant experience, mother-daughter ties, Pacific Rim culture - make it a book with the ``good luck'' to be in the right place at the right time.
In the hands of a less talented writer such thematic material might easily have become overly didactic, and the characters might have seemed like cutouts from a Chinese-American knockoff of ''Roots.'' But in the hands of Amy Tan, who has a wonderful eye for what is telling, a fine ear for dialogue, a deep empathy for her subject matter and a guilelessly straightforward way of writing, they sing with a rare fidelity and beauty. She has written a jewel of a book.

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tan, Amyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alfsen, MereteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holt, Heleen tenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lohmann, SabineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my mother and the memory of her mother. You asked me once what I would remember. This, and much more.
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The old woman remembered a swan she had bought many years ago in Shanghai for a foolish sum.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Please don't combine with commentaries or educational adaptations
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