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Friday, September 27, 2013

Book Club: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

The September Book Club read was The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
The Joy Luck Club is a story that begins in the 1940s in China at a time of war and 4 main woman characters start The Joy Luck Club and form a lifelong bond of friendship. These 4 woman share the stories of their families and where they come from. The story is then told by their 4 daughters who are by this time born and living in a modern America city where family values and life are vastly different to how things were back in China.

I enjoyed the parts of the story explaining the history of the Chinese culture, the meaning of their names and customs I found very interesting. It's also a bit of a coming of age story taking you from the war through to immigrating and starting a new life. It touches on the American born Chinese kids not knowing where they come from or understanding their family ways and I did find myself smiling in areas in the book when you think the Mother doesn't understand the daughter but we all know they understand perfectly well and know exactly what they are doing!

I wish I liked this book more than I did, it's not bad but it's just not great. I thought it would move me and expected more from it. I felt it was lacking depth somehow, it may be because every chapter was a new story by a different character and I always find those types of tales hard to follow because they skip from one person to another.

I would recommend this book to people of different cultures living in a country different to where your parents are born as I think you will have a good understanding of the issues that face immigrating families.
I give this book 3 stars
Jarrah Jungle's Star Rating:
1 Bad - I'd rather eat brussel sprouts topped with anchovies than read this again
2 Not Good - I'd rather watch re-runs of Neighbours than read this again
3 Ok - I'm sitting on the fence - its not great but not terrible either
4 Good - I'd pass up a pack of tim tams for this read
5 Great - I'd pass up a date with Johnny Depp for this read

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  1. I've always wanted to read Joy Luck Club. I remember that one of my high school text books had an excerpt (something about a girl who learned to play the piano?), and I thought it was interesting. The passage had very . . . hmm . . . it had almost a snarky mood to it? Not the funny kind of snarky, but kind of a chip-on-my-shoulder snarky.
    After we adopted my baby sisters from China, my mom started reading ALL of these novels and nonfiction books on Chinese culture and Joy Luck Club was one she read. I don't believe she liked it--found the broken relationships between the mothers and daughters depressing or something.
    I'd still like to read it. The gaps in generations of Asian American culture has always been interesting to me, as are just people in general ;]
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes you should definately read it I think you will be able to relate to it the different generations. But your right there was a bit of bitchiness and broken relationships between the mothers and daughters. It was still a really interesting read though. Add it to your read list :)

  2. I'm actually a huge fan of Amy Tan and this is one of the first book of hers that I read. Love the movie too.

    1. I cant believe I havent watched the movie yet, I really should watch more movies but I always prefer the books more :)


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