Suzanne Moore's Reviews > The Joy Luck Club

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
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's review
Mar 15, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: beach-reads, asian-american, best-american-novels, the-big-read, ashe-winter-challenge
Read in June, 2009

The Joy Luck Club was a group of Chinese women that immigrated to the United States. They met to play Mahjong and share stories. They are proud of their American daughters, yet they continually try to instill their Chinese culture in them. The daughters grow up struggling to please their mothers...while becoming "their own person." Each character's story is crucial to the whole book; though they have different circumstances, they relate to each other with a bond tied to Chinese roots.
Jing-mei,"June", daughter of Suyuan seems to carry the novel as her mother has died and she is called upon to fill her seat when the ladies gather for their Mahjong games. The luck of the group has finally been realized, and Suyuan's friends are anxious to share joyous news with June. It seems that Suyuan had to leave twin daughters behind years ago when fleeing the country, while China was under attack from Japan. June grew up believing that her sisters had died, but learns now that they are still alive. June's sisters have written and are anxious to meet their birth mother.
The ending is bittersweet, as the sisters meet... June sees expressions and gestures that uncannily remind her of her mother. She realizes now she wants to know everything she can about her mother. Like her sisters who never knew their mother, in a way, she feels the same she missed so much.

The daughters realize how the Mahjong stories are important. I predict they are meant to be passed on to future generations.


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