Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Being that we're all part of a "club" I was very interested to see what the Joy Luck Club was all about. This is a beautify story about Chinese-American women and how things are not always what they seem. The story is based on the relationship between Jing-Mei Woo and her mom Suyuan who had recently passed away. Through a series of short stories that bound themselves into a novel we get to hear from 4 mothers and 4 daughters and how they got to where they currently are in life. Jing-Mei finds out why her mom acted "strange” or told her certain things that didn't make sense at the time. She was able to find out more about her mom's best friends who were her "Auntie's" and why they were part of the Joy Luck Club.

The Joy Luck Club was started with Suyuan when she had emigrated from China to San Francisco in 1949. It is a weekly mahjong party which is basically a dice/domino type game with four players. However, it is way more than just the game it also involves food, superstitions, money, and gossip. This weekly meeting is about family, culture, and carrying on a long standing tradition among four families.

Throughout the book I was amazed how one story weaves into the other. The bits and pieces of the Chinese heritage and history are very intriguing. I encourage all the members of The Little Black Dress Club to take the time to learn about this other fascinating club!

Reviewed by Suzy Hicks
Co Director, Columbus Chapter

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