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Amy Tan

The Joy Luck Club : A Novel

Average Rating:out of 5 stars
Walmart # 569585401
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Original publication and copyright date: 1989.

About This Item

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Original publication and copyright date: 1989.The Joy Luck Club is one of my favorite books. From the moment I first started reading it, I knew it was going to be incredible. For me, it was one of those once-in-a-lifetime reading experiences that you cherish forever. It inspired me as a writer and still remains hugely inspirational.” —Kevin Kwan, author of Crazy Rich Asians

Amy Tan’s beloved, New York Times bestselling tale of mothers and daughters


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 than sink into tragedy, they choose to gather to raise their spirits and money. "To despair was to wish back for something already lost. Or to prolong what was already unbearable." Forty years later the stories and history continue.

With wit and sensitivity, Amy Tan examines the sometimes painful, often tender, and always deep connection between mothers and daughters. As each woman reveals her secrets, trying to unravel the truth about her life, the strings become more tangled, more entwined. Mothers boast or despair over daughters, and daughters roll their eyes even as they feel the inextricable tightening of their matriarchal ties. Tan is an astute storyteller, enticing readers to immerse themselves into these lives of complexity and mystery.

Specifications

Language
English
Publisher
Penguin Publishing Group
Book Format
Paperback
Original Languages
English
Number of Pages
352
Author
Amy Tan
Title
The Joy Luck Club
ISBN-13
9780143038092
Publication Date
September, 2006
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
7.95 x 5.30 x 0.72 Inches
ISBN-10
0143038095

Customer Comments

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating:(4.1)out of 5 stars
5 stars
33
4 stars
33
3 stars
17
2 stars
5
1 star
0
Most helpful positive review
4 customers found this helpful
Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars
The East is where thi...
"The East is where things begin, my mother once told me, the direction from which the sun rises, where the wind comes from." (33) In 1949, four Chinese immigrant women, all living in San Francisco, gather regularly to play mah jong, invest in stocks, eat dim sum, and "say" stories: hence the Joy Luck Club is born. Some forty years later, one of the members, Suyuan Woo, has died; and her daughter has come to take her place at the mah jong table. It is here the novel begins. As Jing-mei "June" Woo sits in for her mother, the women are impelled to reach back into time and remember. The elders "say" their stories of personal and family histories in China. The younger generation, of course, the American-born daughters of the four women, also have their own stories to tell. The result: a novel unfolds which is a beautifully rich tapestry of the complexities of mother-daughter relationships across cultural experiences. This is an impressive debut novel! Tan writes about what is lost and what is saved - over the years, between generations and among friends. Structurally, The Joy Luck Club is written in four parts, each of which has four vignettes. Two of the novel's parts tell the mothers' stories, and the other two parts are the daughters' narrations. Highly recommended, particularly for readers who enjoy a story about the immigrant experience. "And then it occurs to me. They are frightened. In me, they see their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all the truths and hopes they have brought to America ...They see that joy and luck do not mean the same to their daughters, that to these closed American-born minds "joy luck" is not a word, it does not exist. They see daughters who will bear grandchildren born without any connecting hope passed from generation to generation." (40)
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars
Im not the target aud...
I'm not the target audience for this book. I'm not that big a fan of "chick lit." This book is that with the twist of the chicks being four Chinese women who immigrated to America, getting together to play Mah Jongg. Then it involves their daughters also. It alternates between the women with four sections. Each mother-daughter gets one chapter in each section, and the story is told through the voice of one or the other. I suspect others will enjoy this far more than I did. Even the Chinese immigrant angle did not redeem the story for me.
Most helpful positive review
4 customers found this helpful
Average Rating:(4.0)out of 5 stars
The East is where thi...
"The East is where things begin, my mother once told me, the direction from which the sun rises, where the wind comes from." (33) In 1949, four Chinese immigrant women, all living in San Francisco, gather regularly to play mah jong, invest in stocks, eat dim sum, and "say" stories: hence the Joy Luck Club is born. Some forty years later, one of the members, Suyuan Woo, has died; and her daughter has come to take her place at the mah jong table. It is here the novel begins. As Jing-mei "June" Woo sits in for her mother, the women are impelled to reach back into time and remember. The elders "say" their stories of personal and family histories in China. The younger generation, of course, the American-born daughters of the four women, also have their own stories to tell. The result: a novel unfolds which is a beautifully rich tapestry of the complexities of mother-daughter relationships across cultural experiences. This is an impressive debut novel! Tan writes about what is lost and what is saved - over the years, between generations and among friends. Structurally, The Joy Luck Club is written in four parts, each of which has four vignettes. Two of the novel's parts tell the mothers' stories, and the other two parts are the daughters' narrations. Highly recommended, particularly for readers who enjoy a story about the immigrant experience. "And then it occurs to me. They are frightened. In me, they see their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all the truths and hopes they have brought to America ...They see that joy and luck do not mean the same to their daughters, that to these closed American-born minds "joy luck" is not a word, it does not exist. They see daughters who will bear grandchildren born without any connecting hope passed from generation to generation." (40)
Most helpful negative review
Average Rating:(2.0)out of 5 stars
Im not the target aud...
I'm not the target audience for this book. I'm not that big a fan of "chick lit." This book is that with the twist of the chicks being four Chinese women who immigrated to America, getting together to play Mah Jongg. Then it involves their daughters also. It alternates between the women with four sections. Each mother-daughter gets one chapter in each section, and the story is told through the voice of one or the other. I suspect others will enjoy this far more than I did. Even the Chinese immigrant angle did not redeem the story for me.
"The East is where things begin, my mother once told me, the direction from which the sun rises, where the wind comes from." (33) In 1949, four Chinese immigrant women, all living in San Francisco, gather regularly to play mah jong, invest in stocks, eat dim sum, and "say" stories: hence the Joy Luck Club is born. Some forty years later, one of the members, Suyuan Woo, has died; and her daughter has come to take her place at the mah jong table. It is here the novel begins. As Jing-mei "June" Woo sits in for her mother, the women are impelled to reach back into time and remember. The elders "say" their stories of personal and family histories in China. The younger generation, of course, the American-born daughters of the four women, also have their own stories to tell. The result: a novel unfolds which is a beautifully rich tapestry of the complexities of mother-daughter relationships across cultural experiences. This is an impressive debut novel! Tan writes about what is lost and what is saved - over the years, between generations and among friends. Structurally, The Joy Luck Club is written in four parts, each of which has four vignettes. Two of the novel's parts tell the mothers' stories, and the other two parts are the daughters' narrations. Highly recommended, particularly for readers who enjoy a story about the immigrant experience. "And then it occurs to me. They are frightened. In me, they see their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all the truths and hopes they have brought to America ...They see that joy and luck do not mean the same to their daughters, that to these closed American-born minds "joy luck" is not a word, it does not exist. They see daughters who will bear grandchildren born without any connecting hope passed from generation to generation." (40)
I'm not the target audience for this book. I'm not that big a fan of "chick lit." This book is that with the twist of the chicks being four Chinese women who immigrated to America, getting together to play Mah Jongg. Then it involves their daughters also. It alternates between the women with four sections. Each mother-daughter gets one chapter in each section, and the story is told through the voice of one or the other. I suspect others will enjoy this far more than I did. Even the Chinese immigrant angle did not redeem the story for me.

Frequent mentions

1-5 of 88 reviews
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Tans glorious novel p...

Tan's glorious novel portrays the complex relationships between four mothers (all Chinese immigrants) and their American-born daughters. Each of the mothers came to America as young women who had survived tragedy in their native China. In their efforts to create better lives for their daughters, they created many misunderstandings as well. The daughters struggle for independence, but also long for their mothers' love and understanding. The novel is complex, especially since there are so many major characters. However, it is well worth the effort to keep everyone straight. This novel doesn't only speak to the experience of immigrants; mothers and daughters everywhere should read this book. Highly recommended!

Helpful?
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Tans glorious novel p...

Tan's glorious novel portrays the complex relationships between four mothers (all Chinese immigrants) and their American-born daughters. Each of the mothers came to America as young women who had survived tragedy in their native China. In their efforts to create better lives for their daughters, they created many misunderstandings as well. The daughters struggle for independence, but also long for their mothers' love and understanding. The novel is complex, especially since there are so many major characters. However, it is well worth the effort to keep everyone straight. This novel doesn't only speak to the experience of immigrants; mothers and daughters everywhere should read this book. Highly recommended!

Helpful?
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

What else can I say, i...

What else can I say, its a beautiful book. Each story surprises me, weaves a beautiful tale of these 8 women and keeps me turning the pages. Absolutely beautiful.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

Finished the audio of ...

Finished the audio of this beautiful story of 4 Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco who form The Joy Luck Cub. 40 years later story and history continue. Amy Tan examines deep connections between mothers and daughters. A very moving account and a true classic. Sad but story ends on a very positive note.

Helpful?
Average Rating:(5.0)out of 5 stars

I havent picked this ...

I haven't picked this up since high school, but I was thrilled to get around to re-reading this. Each sentence is poetry; the Chinese customs, language, nuances, and characters float right off the page. It's a beautiful book to read. I also love the differences between the mothers and daughters; at first you think it's generational, but it's all about being raised American, in a new land with new customs. The Joy Luck Club tells of four Chinese women who immigrated to America in their youth and their four daughter who were raised American. The daughters can't understand where their parents came from, not the struggles, the humiliations, the secrets. They are too wrapped up in themselves and ashamed of their mothers and their odd beliefs. As the stories unfold (alternating chapters feature different perspectives); the mothers reminiscing about how they were raised and persevered, the daughters start to realize that they are more then their differences, they have a resilience, a strength in spirit that needed to be overcome, but deep down they are closer to their mothers than they ever thought possible. Storytelling at it's finest.

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