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The Joy Luck Club
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Discussions 2018 > book discussion # 96: (Motherhood Theme - Book #3) The Joy Luck Club

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message 1: by Wafaa (last edited Jul 29, 2018 10:46PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Wafaa (wafa85) | 57 comments Mod
The Joy Luck Club
Read and discuss this novel here with us,
and everyone is welcome to join our discussion in Library Antoine (Beirut souks downtown) on Friday July 27 at 6.

Tell us your opinion, impressions, and most loved quotes, character or scene.
And did you find this novel fit in Motherhood theme?

Wafaa (wafa85) | 57 comments Mod

These are two link to the novel's plot overview, summary ,themes, analysis, quotes , question and even a quiz.

message 3: by Wafaa (last edited Jul 19, 2018 01:03PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Wafaa (wafa85) | 57 comments Mod
here is the first 2:30 hours of the 9 hour audiobook

Wafaa (wafa85) | 57 comments Mod
quotes to encourage reading this book with us:

"I never believed there was ever any one right answer, yet there were many wrong ones."

" All these years I kept my true nature hidden, running along like a small shadow so nobody could catch me."

"After a while I didn't think it was a terrible life, no not really. After a while , I hurt so much I didn't feel any difference."

"That is the way it is with a wound. The wound begins to close in on itself, to prevent what is hurting so much. And once it is closed, you no longer see what is underneath, what started the pain."

"Isn't hate merely the result of wounded love?"

"And I think now that fate is shaped half by expectation, half by inattention. But somehow, when you lose something you love, faith takes over. You have to pay attention to what you lost. You have to undo the expectation."

"Secrets are kept from children, a lid on the soup kettle, so they do not boil over with too much truth."

Wafaa (wafa85) | 57 comments Mod
write quick notes for each chapter so you know the mother and her daughter and each ones story,
In this edition there is a list for the names of the mothers and their daughters' name after the content page.
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Hoda Marmar (bibliomanic) | 62 comments Mod
Wafaa wrote: "hint:
write quick notes for each chapter so you know the mother and her daughter and each ones story,
In this edition there is a list for the names of the mothers and their daughters' name after ..."

Yes, Wafaa, this page is like a reference we can go back to when a new daughter or mother appears in the narration. I am taking some notes too so that I stay focused on the 4 pairs of moms and daughters.

Lubna | 1 comments Great hint! My pdf version doesn't have it though .. I will look for one xx

Wafaa (wafa85) | 57 comments Mod
Lubna wrote: "Great hint! My pdf version doesn't have it though .. I will look for one xx"

will let hoda take a photo of the page , I wrote notes on mine ...:)

Nayla Feghaly | 2 comments “Can you imagine how it is, to want to be neither inside nor outside, to want to be nowhere and disappear?” The joy luck club - Amy Tan

Wafaa (wafa85) | 57 comments Mod
Here is the list of the main characters of the novel : the mothers and their daughters....

and here is the content page which will help to remember the story of each character

Bookoholics | 4 comments Mod
“Because sometimes that is the only way to remember what is in your bones. You must peel off your skin, and that of your mother, and her mother. Until there is nothing. No scar, no skin, no flesh.”
― Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club

Nayla Feghaly | 2 comments “When something that violent hits you, you can’t help but lose your balance and fall. And after you pick yourself up, you realize you can’t trust anybody to save you - not your husband, not your mother, not God. So what can you do to stop yourself from tilting and falling all over again?” Amy Tan - the joy luck club

Wafaa (wafa85) | 57 comments Mod
We are exited to discuss this book on July 27 with Between The Covers Book Club at Antoine - Beirut Souks.
This novel is so good and many quotes can be marked in it.

Wafaa (wafa85) | 57 comments Mod
Discussion Guide to 'The Joy Luck Club' - Amy Tan:
Compiled by Hoda

I. Amy Tan
Info background about the author, consult the following links:

II. The Joy Luck Club
A. About the Novel
First review of the novel in 1989
Talk about the Mahjong game, how it represents the backdrop and dynamics of the novel, and about the importance of number 4 in the novel: Mahjong game's 4 corners at the table, 4 winds, and 4 parts in the book, each preceded by a tale, and each part has 4 stories. 4 mothers and 4 daughters, 4 tales in total. The novel, originally intended as short stories, feels like reading diaries, and getting an insight into the characters, and they all had their own voice. It just blends beautifully in the narrative.
see info about Mahjong here:

B. Characters
Characters of The Joy Luck Club and their stories:
Mother & Daughter

Suyan Woo & Jing-mei Woo
An-mei Hsu & Rose Hsu Jordan
Lindo Jong & Waverly Jong
Ying-ying St. Clair & Lena St. Clair

Through the stories of the lives of eight Chinese immigrant mothers and their American-born daughters, emotional themes are used in all 4 parts of the novel.
Main Character: Jing-mei Woo (June) Roots of 1st Joy Club in 1949 Kweilin, Jing-Mei's mom, the mom's death, her replacing her mom at Joy Luck. Constant comparison with her mom, trying to understand her through memories and stories she told. Vivid descriptions of China and America. Inner (feelings, thoughts, fears, memories) and outer (smells, places, streets, people, manners and gestures, ) descriptions (animals, insects, food, nature elements), traditions, tales, storytelling, going back to the past and looking forward with hope (missing the present). The novel starts at the East, where everything begins, and ends in the East, in China.
For each of the 4 parts, retell the tale, say the main themes and ask members about their favorite incident and quote in each part. What touched them the most in that part.

The first section concerns sacrifice and loss, what is meant by giving of oneself and giving up.
First Part. Feathers from A Thousand Li Away
* The swan's feather
1. Jing-Mei Woo: The Joy Luck Club
2. An-Mei Hsu: Scar
3. Lindo Jong: The Red Candle
4. Ying-Ying St. Clair: The Moon Lady

In the next two sections, the daughters recall moments of uncertainty, anger, or fear in childhood. They are also stories of resistance and rebellion and the rejection of what they see as false beliefs their mothers have tried to instill.
Second Part. The Twenty-six Malignant Gates
* The girl on the bicycle
1. Waverly Jong: Rules of the Game
2. Lena St. Clair: The Voice from the Wall
3. Rose Hsu Jordan: Half and Half
4. Jing-Mei Woo: Two Kinds

Third Part. American Translation
* The mirror and the reflection
1. Lena St. Clair: Rice Husband
2. Waverly Jong: Four Directions
3. Rose Hsu Jordan: Without Wood
4. Jing-Mei Woo: Best Quality

In the final section, the mothers’ and daughters’ stories intertwine and reveal how hope and love can transform sadness, anger, despair, and fears from the past.
Fourth Part. Queen Mother of the Western Skies
* The lesson and laughing forever
1. An-Mei Hsu: Magpies
2. Ying-Ying St. Clair: Waiting Between the Trees
3. Lindo Jong: Double Face
4. Jing-Mei Woo: A Pair of Tickets

C. Themes
1. Motherhood & Generational Differences
2. Motherland/Immigration
3. Mother Tongue/Language Barriers
4. Identity: Family (collective) vs. Self (individual)
5. Communication: Clash & Reconciliation
6. Cultural Differences; The American Dream
7. Community & Values
8. Transformation
9. Friendship
10. Dreams, Hopes, and Plans
11. Sex & Marriage
12. Womanhood: Sacrifice & Loss
13. Pain, Understanding & Healing

D. Symbols
1. Mah Jong's 4 Corners, 4 Winds
2. Superstitions
3. Chinese Culture Elements (food, animals, traditions, nature)
4. The Swan and the Swan Feather
5. The Twenty-Six Malignant Gates
6. Queen Mother of the Western Skies
7. The Red Candle
8. Marble End Table/Black Vase
9. The Jade Pendant, Jing-mei's "Life's Importance"
10. East (where everything begins)

E. Discussion Questions
See questions here and here

F. Quiz
See quiz here:

G. Closure
1. Discuss similarities and differences with the 1993 movie based on the novel, see trailer here:
2. Give overall opinion about the book. Rating out of 5 stars. Would you consider reading for other Chinese authors? other books for Amy Tan?

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