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The Joy Luck Club
The Joy Luck Club
Author: Amy Tan
Four mothers, four daughters, four families... In 1949, four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, meet weekly to play mahjong and tell stories of what they left behind in China. United in loss, and with new hope for their daughters' futures, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. Their daughters, who ...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780804106306
ISBN-10: 0804106304
Publication Date: 6/1/1990
Pages: 352
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 930 ratings
Publisher: Ivy Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

AZmom875 avatar reviewed The Joy Luck Club on + 624 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
I loved this book and the movie. It was wonderful to be so personally involved with each persons story. I really felt like I was there with them.
Long after I read the book the characters still stick with me.
reviewed The Joy Luck Club on + 164 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This is a *very* good book. I especially liked the sections about China. I love the way they are written, and the descriptions of things are just gorgeous. They really give you a feeling for the mind and the culture of the woman narrating at the time.

Amy Tan did a good job of keeping the story going coherently, even though she had the book divided into 16 sections narrated by 8 different characters. Pretty impressive! So the story comes out more as a one about Chinese immigrants to the U.S. and the next generation as a whole instead of one specific character's story, but it really does work.

The whole time I was reading this book, I was thinking about how this was the start of that group-of-women stories trend. For a while, there was a run of stories about 4 friends, or a group of friends, or 3 generations of women, etc...both in print and at the movies.

This may be a teensy bit of a spoiler, just to warn anyone who might want to know! Okay, I have one thing to say to the (okay, so they're fictional characters) daughters in this book (and please note that I am largely just joking around from here on out). Ladies, I'm sorry, but you don't get to claim your problems with getting your fellas through a meet-the-family dinners or family houseguests entirely on intercultural issues! Partially, of course, but entirely? Nope, no way. At least 2 of you did absolutely no prep work with your guys at all! I mean, it takes at least 10 minutes for me to tip any new guy off on how to charm my family, and that's for just the easy family members, and I'd certainly expect him to do the same for me. How long would it have taken to explain that dear old mom is really begging for compliments when she says her meal didn't come out well, and that everyone is supposed to tell her it's the best meal ever and couldn't be better? Honestly, I noticed a distinct lack of effort on your parts, girls, leaving you with at least part of the blame for troubles in that area. Sheesh! ;)
SassenachD avatar reviewed The Joy Luck Club on + 49 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Story about 4 chinese women. alternates back and forth between modern day and when they were girls. Most people have seen the movie. This book is required reading in most highschools on the east coast. I liked it. Some really moving parts, haunting almost.
MarciNYC avatar reviewed The Joy Luck Club on
Helpful Score: 4
I don't know why I never read this before, it's been widely available for sometime and yet I ignored it. After a recommendation from a co-worker, I sourced a copy to read. It's a beautiful story - there's something magical about Amy Tan's writing that just sucked me into this story about four mothers and daughters. While the the mothers are Chinese and their daughters are first generation Chinese-American, I think some of the relationships are indicative of many mother-daughter relationships. At times I found it confusing trying to remember which character was speaking, but when I just gave up and read the stories for what they were, it was much easier going. An excellent read - one I wish I had read ages ago. I will definitely be on the lookout for more of Amy Tan's work.
reviewed The Joy Luck Club on + 75 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Not quite as amazing as I had hoped, I wasn't able to keep track of who was who and that made it a very confusing read. Taking notes on who is who, or just paying close attention, would be very helpful.
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iritnus avatar reviewed The Joy Luck Club on + 37 more book reviews
Sometimes I buy books someone says I should read to be considered literate. Frequently I shelve them because they feel like homework. This was on my bedside bookshelf from March 2007 until Labor Day Weekend 2011. When I finally cracked it I found I identified with it but not in the obvious way. Instead of gaining insight into mother-daughter relationships, I got more out of the storylines of young women who were struggling with other relationships. And like one of the moms, I too feel like I have a sense that something is going to happen and I do nothing to change it. Regardless of the self-analysis this book might evoke, everyone -- parent, child, man, woman -- should read it for the masterful storytelling. There are weighty subjects and sometimes a little bit of humor. Many of the images will stick with you -- I dare say haunt -- and you'll ask yourself how much the author draws on Chinese myths she heard growing up and how much of this is her pure imagination. You have your assignment; get started.
reviewed The Joy Luck Club on + 5 more book reviews
One of my favorites. The reader begins to think of characters in the book as old friends. This book transcends race and culture. This is not a "Chinese" story but a story of mothers and daughters; of hopes and wishes for one's children; of the joys and tragedies of life. The movie is excellent as well.
ajpc avatar reviewed The Joy Luck Club on + 22 more book reviews
An epic tail w/ interesting Chinese history and fabulous empowerment for women. I loved the part about the feather and valuing yourself. I quoted the book for a friend who was in a bad relationship.
lilliemae avatar reviewed The Joy Luck Club on + 14 more book reviews
This book was tough for me to get into at first. It is made up of short stories told by different characters, either Mother or Daughter. Once you get into the writing style, the book was tough to put down. The stories will stay with me forever. I would recommend this book to my friends.
reviewed The Joy Luck Club on + 8 more book reviews
This classic 2 cassette audio book gave me a new perspective, not only on immigrant Chinese Americans but also on the importance of asking my aging relatives for their stories. Even if you have read the book--listening to the readers makes it vibrant !
reviewed The Joy Luck Club on + 16 more book reviews
"...four Chinese women - drawn together by the shadow of their past - begin meeting in San Francisco... Nearly forty years later one of the members has died and her daughter has come to take her place, only to learn of her mother's lfelong wish - and the tragic way in which it has come true. The revelation of this secret unleashes an urgent need among the women to reach back and remember..."
reviewed The Joy Luck Club on + 72 more book reviews
amy tan writes beautifully - romantic word stylings - a wonderful tribute to the women in her family - funny - sad - heartbreaking - joyous - like life
reviewed The Joy Luck Club on + 72 more book reviews
amy tan writes beautifully - romantic word stylings - a wonderful tribute to the women in her family - funny - sad - heartbreaking - joyous - like life