Review of The Joy Luck Club

Cover of The Joy Luck Club

Title: The Joy Luck Club
Author: Amy Tan
Rating: 4/5 ⭐
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Classic

Age: Adult
Format: Ebook/Audiobook
Narrator: Gwendoline Yeo
Book Club: Diverse Classics

From GoodreadsIn 1949, four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. With wit and wisdom, Amy Tan examines the sometimes painful, often tender, and always deep connection between these four women and their American-born daughters. As each reveals her secrets, trying to unravel the truth about her life, the strings become more tangled, more entwined…

This is sort of a novel but it’s told in short stories that each focus on a different perspective from among this big family group throughout different generations. Some focus on the mothers during the present, some on the daughters during the present, and others during the mothers’ pasts.

It was a really interesting way to tell a story. I’ve heard this is a book that you have to read twice and I will definitely be doing that. I think there will be a lot of new things to pick up on.

I personally don’t think I would recommend this one on audio because of the way it’s told. It sort of jumps around and having also bought the ebook made it so I could sort of peek back and remind myself who each character was. I don’t think I could have followed it with just audio.

While this book deals with a different culture than mine that certainly influences the mother-daughter relationships, I think there are some things about relationships between mothers and daughters that are universal. I know I could personally relate to some of these challenges despite the differences. 

Do you like intergenerational sagas? Do you have a favorite?

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