Reviews

The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan

drb5232's review against another edition

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4.0

Amy Tan paints a complex portrait of the relationships between four Chinese mothers and their American-born Chinese daughters - the connection to family and culture as well as the distance, the storytelling and the miscommunication, the pride and shame, the beauty and pain. I’m really glad I finally made time to read this.

jennymacusa's review against another edition

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2.0

Clearly a well written book but so utterly confusing, who is who? How are they related? What time period is it? Who knows, not me that’s for sure! I don’t think I was helped by the fact that I listened to it on audiobook so I couldn’t leaf back through the pages and check on the spelling of each lady’s name to orient myself. I’m sure its a good book for some readers but it was beyond me I’m afraid!

asealey925's review against another edition

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medium-paced

4.0

tangerine7199's review against another edition

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4.0

Absolutely Beautiful! I was struck by this paragraph close to the end:

"And now at the airport, after shaking hands with everybody, waving good-bye, I think about all the different ways we leave people in this world. Cheerily waving good-bye to some at airports, knowing we'll never see each other again. Leaving others on the side of the road, hoping that we will. Finding my mother in my father's story and saying good-bye before I have a chance to know her better." (page 286)

siena_j_p's review

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reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

This book falls into the category of perfectly well written, just not really my thing. It follows the women of the Joy Luck Club, a group that began with one of them who started a mahjong group while living in a war zone in China, and now lives in San Francisco. The founder of the group has just died and her daughter has learned that her mother had two other daughters who she was separated from in China and has spent years looking for and finally found. But the majority of the book is actually about the other women in the group and their daughters, and the conflict between the two different generations and cultures. I do appreciate what the author was trying to do with this, but I really struggled to keep all the different characters and their respective stories straight in my head, so I don’t think I really fully appreciated the connections between each vignette. Like, I don’t think I could have followed everything without making a flow chart or something. And that could very well be a me problem, but it was the main barrier for me in terms of enjoying the story.

teenarosales's review against another edition

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emotional lighthearted reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes

3.75

ajbird84's review against another edition

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emotional reflective medium-paced

3.0

andtheywerecocaptains's review against another edition

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5.0

Absolutely beautiful and heartbreaking story. It makes me want to call my mom.

julieintheworld's review against another edition

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3.0

Quick read with lots of little interrelated stories. It lags halfway through though but finishes up nicely.

wyemu's review against another edition

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4.0

Tan excels at stories exploring the relationships between mothers and daughters and the effect that cultural change can have on them. In this case we are given four examples, the mothers raised in China and the daughters raised in America after the families have moved. Through misunderstandings brought on by their very different upbringings each pair is finally able to reach some kind of appreciation for the other and to the realisation of what is important to each. Although 'The Bonesetter's Daughter' provides a better example of this king of relationship and cultural variance 'The Joy Luck Club is still a beautiful and moving book that will affect all those who have ever disagreed with their mothers due to the diiferencein their upbringings.