Jen Fabico's Reviews > The Joy Luck Club

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
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Feb 09, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: inspirational, heritage, 2012-50-book-pledge, favourites
Read from January 29 to February 05, 2012

Book 8 of this year's 50 Book Challenge is The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.

I'll be truthful: at first I was VERY hesitant about starting this book. It's not the type of book which I would usually read. In fact, not even a little close to my typical book. After reading Book 7, I took a few days to clear my mind so I could approach this book with a very open mind. And looking back at that decision, I have no idea what the heck I was thinking. How idiotic of me!

From the very first very pages of The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan had me hooked in. Her characters were cleverly written and very witty, especially during moments where you don't expect them to be. The book explores the idea of Chinese culture, tradition and heritage through the eyes of eight women: four mothers and four daughters. And throughout the length of the book, you get to experience stories, superstitions, heritage and progress. It is amazing to me that the characters within this book were fictional as they are written with such life and charm.

My boss had lent me this book after having a book chat one day and I am really glad that I had a book recommendation from someone who does not read my style of books. This book took me longer to read in comparison to my January books and I do not regret that fact either. It was definitely something that I enjoyed and wanted to savour. As an Asian (Filipino) woman, there are many confusions regarding my heritage. It is very common case where non-Asians will approach me asking about my Chinese heritage. And I'll admit, over time, it gets very frustrating, especially when they try to validate themselves saying, "well, you look Chinese!" Well, actually no I don't. And although I'm not Chinese, these book taught me a lot and gave me interesting insight to the Chinese culture. You see, I like in an area which over the years has become heavily populated with Chinese families. And over the years, I guess I've become a little spiteful as my friendly multi-cultural community deteriorated and was replaced by "people who I didn't understand" -both in language and in tradition. And I'm not saying that I am racist, because I don't think I am. But this book has really opened my eyes to the inner workings of the development of my ever-changing community.

After this read, I am definitely going to read more books by Amy Tan. And in addition to that, I will make sure that I no longer take any unnecessary breaks between books when it comes to books which my boss recommends me. I should've known it was going to be a good one if it was from her own favourite's list.

Overall, I am giving Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club a 4.85 out of 5, but adding it to my collection of favourites. And I'll tell you why the deduction: everything was great, but the last paragraph in the book fell short for me. I don't enjoy when books drop you off as if it was a bus stop destination. Other than that, it was excellent!

Book 9 is the book in Richelle Mead's Dark Swan Series: Shadow Heir.
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Reading Progress

01/29/2012 page 30
9.0% "Was pretty hesitant to start it but I'm really enjoying it so far. I'm a little worried that my English may suffer after reading the whole book: it reads the way a native Chinese person speaks."
01/30/2012 page 74
22.0% "Interesting to see the different viewpoints of the mothers and how/why they have developed into the older woman they are now. Sometimes we forget that it takes several journeys to get to where we are now. And somestimes the older first journeys are the best ones."
02/01/2012 page 186
56.0% "Enjoying the cultural aspects of this book. It's hard to believe that these are fictional characters. It's so well written!"
02/01/2012 page 241
73.0% ""...You must teach my daughter this same lesson. How to lose your innocence but not your hope. How to laugh forever.""
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