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Klub Radości i Szczęścia PDF, ePub eBook W chińskiej dzielnicy San Francisco cztery starsze kobiety spotykają się, by grać w madżonga i wspominać przeszłość w starym kraju. To ich Klub Radości i Szczęścia. Wszystkie wyrosły w innej kulturze i obyczajowości, wyznaczającej kobiecie podrzędne miejsce w hierarchii społecznej. Ich córki, urodzone i wychowane w Ameryce, przeciwstawiają się matkom, odrzucając wszystko, W chińskiej dzielnicy San Francisco cztery starsze kobiety spotykają się, by grać w madżonga i wspominać przeszłość w starym kraju. To ich Klub Radości i Szczęścia. Wszystkie wyrosły w innej kulturze i obyczajowości, wyznaczającej kobiecie podrzędne miejsce w hierarchii społecznej. Ich córki, urodzone i wychowane w Ameryce, przeciwstawiają się matkom, odrzucając wszystko, co chińskie. Okazuje się jednak, że te dwa pokolenia kobiet dużo więcej łączy niż dzieli - choć i matki, i córki muszą przebyć długą drogę emocjonalną, aby uświadomić sobie siłę więzów krwi i rolę własnych korzeni.

30 review for Klub Radości i Szczęścia

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brina

    During high school, when I did not have the life experience to fully appreciate her work, I read each of Amy Tan's books as they came out. Now, years later, with many other books and various experiences under my belt, I reread The Joy Luck Club, Tan's first book, as part of my March Women's History Month lineup. Following her mother's death, June Mei Woo has replaced her mother Suyuan at her monthly mah jong game. Suyuan started this game and Joy Luck Club when she first immigrated to the United During high school, when I did not have the life experience to fully appreciate her work, I read each of Amy Tan's books as they came out. Now, years later, with many other books and various experiences under my belt, I reread The Joy Luck Club, Tan's first book, as part of my March Women's History Month lineup. Following her mother's death, June Mei Woo has replaced her mother Suyuan at her monthly mah jong game. Suyuan started this game and Joy Luck Club when she first immigrated to the United States as a way to maintain her Chinese culture in a new country. The other families who joined her-- the Hsus, Jongs, and St Claires-- became like family as together they celebrated festivals, children's birthdays, and indoctrinated the next generation in Chinese culture. Yet, June Mei and her friends from the group, Waverly, Rose, and Lena, for the most part were interested in achieving the American dream, often times at the expense of their mothers who worked hard to preserve their Chinese cultural existence. It is also only at these meetings that these four ladies could pour out the sorrows of the life they left behind in China, including extended families who stayed in villages while these fortunate ones moved to Shanghai and Hong Kong and then to the United States. Away from these intimate gatherings, even the daughters of these women did not know much about their mothers' lives in China. It is at the opening of the book that June Mei finds out that her mother had twin daughters in China who she abandoned as babies and after all these years, they have been found. Much to June Mei's chagrin, the older women urge her to travel to China to meet her sisters and teach them about their mother's heritage. While much about immigration experience, The Joy Luck Club is also about both the younger and older generation's path to self discovery. Tan uses a vignette format to alternate stories between the younger and older women, with June Mei's voice serving as a voice between the two. I enjoyed learning about life in pre-revolutionary, rural China and the hardships that drove the Chinese to immigrate in the first place. Once in the United States, however, the protagonists strove to preserve the same language, food, culture of the China that they were quick to leave behind. The fact that none of their daughters chose to marry Chinese men attests to the generation gap between first and second generation immigrants of any ethnic group. As in many cases, when the children move toward middle age, then they become interested in their parents' heritage, as is the case here. Unfortunately, it does change the gap that had been created when the children shunned their culture in exchange for life as normal Americans. When published, The Joy Luck Club was an innovative look at Chinese immigrants and how being Chinese changes with each generation. Tan has encouraged an entire generation of Chinese American writers who we can enjoy today, and now there are a plethora of cultural groups writing about their immigrant experience. I recently read as part of a buddy read The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri and many of the participants noted that Lahiri's writing is much like Tan's a generation later. Talking about how Indian culture changes from one generation to the next, Lahiri does seem much as Tan, the torch bearer for this style of writing. That the Joy Luck Club has been an on the same page selection in multiple cities as well as studied in schools speaks to its enduring qualities. I look forward to revisiting Tan's other books again, and rate The Joy Luck Club 4 bright stars.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    Why read The Joy Luck Club? Because sometimes one needs to get in touch with his inner Chinese feminine side. Amy Tan's most famous book offered ample opportunity in that regard. The JLC is all about the relationships between Chinese moms and their daughters. Honestly, I picked this up as part of my studies into Chinese culture. My brother has been teaching English over there for a few years now and I plan on visiting one day. As per usual, I like to read up on a place before the trip. Some people say t Why read The Joy Luck Club? Because sometimes one needs to get in touch with his inner Chinese feminine side. Amy Tan's most famous book offered ample opportunity in that regard. The JLC is all about the relationships between Chinese moms and their daughters. Honestly, I picked this up as part of my studies into Chinese culture. My brother has been teaching English over there for a few years now and I plan on visiting one day. As per usual, I like to read up on a place before the trip. Some people say that spoils the surprise, but I feel like I get more out of the visit that way. There always seems to be plenty of surprises when you travel to the other side of the world, regardless of the prep work. Was this useful for Chinese studies? Not 100%. The stories herein, which are no doubt heavily indebted to Tan's personal experiences, are not only fictional, but they're also about the Chinese-American experience. A good deal of the book takes place in the U.S. There are many old world/home land stories and Tan does an excellent job including and describing Chinese customs and traditions. It's just that most of the time they are tainted or at least touched by the hand of the West. The relationships themselves and how they play out is, for the most part, satisfying. Emotions sometimes run high and occasionally over. There are laughs to be had in everyday misunderstandings. The characters may be foreign to me, but were nevertheless utterly relatable. After all, most everyone has a parent-child relationship to relate to. My own relationship with my mother was, for better or worse, close. I may not be a woman or Chinese, but that hardly matters, as nothing was lost in Tan's translation of the mother-child bond.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    After I read The Joy Luck Club (summer required reading before sophomore English in high school), I started pestering my mom about her abandoned children in mainland China. I also declared that I would name my two kids after the aforementioned abandoned children: Spring Flower and Spring Rain. My mom laughed in my face about the latter, saying no self-respecting Chinese would give their kids such pedestrian names, and would be mock-pissed about the former. The truth is that After I read The Joy Luck Club (summer required reading before sophomore English in high school), I started pestering my mom about her abandoned children in mainland China. I also declared that I would name my two kids after the aforementioned abandoned children: Spring Flower and Spring Rain. My mom laughed in my face about the latter, saying no self-respecting Chinese would give their kids such pedestrian names, and would be mock-pissed about the former. The truth is that The Joy Luck Club got some things right and got a lot of other things dramatic. The stuff that rang the most true with me was the angsty rivalry between Waverly and June; particularly June's meltdown at the piano recital (a consistent paranoia of mine throughout childhood) and Waverly's accusations toward her mother (a fantasy of mine growing up). I now realize that some of my issues with my mom were probably planted by reading The Joy Luck Club; others were valid insofar as they existed within the collective repressed thoughts of first-generation Asian-Americans forced to compete against the highest standards: their parents'. I think The Joy Luck Club is important because it was prominent in the mainstream and it finally allowed ABCs (American-born Chinese) to recognize themselves in a major work of literature. The problem is that the book came out almost twenty years ago and there have been nearly no major additions to the genre. I hate for people to think JLC is definitive about our culture and experience, as influential as it is.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    It's not fashionable to profess a liking for The Joy Luck Club. In both academic and literary circles, Tan has been maligned for her seeming misandry and racial self-loathing, raked across the coals for her largely negative portrayal of Asian/Asian-American men and for marrying off all her Asian-American female characters to white men. She's been dismissed for writing "chick lit," lightweight family melodrama laced with orientalist cliches. She's even been accused of being politically reactionary. As It's not fashionable to profess a liking for The Joy Luck Club. In both academic and literary circles, Tan has been maligned for her seeming misandry and racial self-loathing, raked across the coals for her largely negative portrayal of Asian/Asian-American men and for marrying off all her Asian-American female characters to white men. She's been dismissed for writing "chick lit," lightweight family melodrama laced with orientalist cliches. She's even been accused of being politically reactionary. As Asian-American literature scholar Erin Ninh states in her academic text Ingratitude, The Joy Luck Club conveniently ignores "America's systemic racial and economic discrimination... [It] must be understood as part and parcel of [an] assimilationist obfuscation of power." And yet. I have a soft spot for this book. Because, damn it, Amy Tan was a pioneer, a groundbreaker. When I first read this novel at age 14 or so, it really spoke to me. It thrilled me that someone was finally writing down the difficult truths of Asian-American mother-daughter relationships, exposing the hidden realities of my private life to the public eye. A risky thing to do, as Amy Chua learned to her chagrin decades later. Waverly Jong's tragic story of chess-playing and mother-daughter psychological warfare: how could anyone not find it unforgettable? The scene where Lindo Jong poisons her daughter's mind against the mink coat she previously loved: doesn't it perfectly sum up the complicated love/hate dynamic between two devious and damaged women, intelligent and yet conditioned by society to waste their intelligence scheming against each other?

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan The Joy Luck Club is a 1989 novel written by Amy Tan. It focuses on four Chinese American immigrant families in San Francisco who start a club known as The Joy Luck Club, playing the Chinese game of mahjong for money while feasting on a variety of foods. The book is structured somewhat like a mahjong game, with four parts divided into four sections to create sixteen chapters. The three mothers and four daughters (one mother, Suyuan Woo, dies before the novel opens The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan The Joy Luck Club is a 1989 novel written by Amy Tan. It focuses on four Chinese American immigrant families in San Francisco who start a club known as The Joy Luck Club, playing the Chinese game of mahjong for money while feasting on a variety of foods. The book is structured somewhat like a mahjong game, with four parts divided into four sections to create sixteen chapters. The three mothers and four daughters (one mother, Suyuan Woo, dies before the novel opens). Stories about their lives in the form of vignettes. Each part is preceded by a parable relating to the game. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز سی و یکم ماه آگوست سال 1996 میلادی عنوان: محفل شادمانی؛ نویسنده: امی تان (تن)؛ مترجم: مریم بیات؛ تهران، نشر البرز، 1373؛ در شانزده و 383 ص؛ موضوع: داستان چینی های امریکایی ؛ مادران و دختران از نویسندگان امریکایی سده 20 م عنوان اصلی کتاب: «باشگاه جوی لاک»، است، در ایران با عنوان: «محفل شادمانی»، با ترجمه ی بانو: «مریم بیات»، در نشر البرز، لباس نشر بر تن پوشیده است. این داستان، توسط بانو: «امی تان (تن)»، در سال 1989 میلادی، نوشته شده است. داستان چهار خانواده ی مهاجر چینی امریکایی در شهر سانفرانسیکو است، که یک باشگاه، به نام: «شادی خوش شانسی (جوی لاک)»، بنیان مینهند. از این داستان فیلمی نیز به کارگردانی «وین وانگ»، کارگردان هنگ کنگی تبار مقیم آمریکا، ساخته شده است. داستان طی یک سری فلش بک، از چهار زن جوان چینی ست، که در آمریکا به دنیا آمده اند، اما مادران آنها در چین زاده شده اند، آنها به جستجوی بگذشته ی خویش آغاز میکنند. همین جستجوها به آنها یاری میکند، تا مشکل رابطه ی مادر و دختری خود را، درک کنند.... ا. شربیانی

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dem

    I feel kind of cheated out what could have been a great story by a truly dreadful narration on audible. Some of the voices were totally over the top and sounded cartoonish and listening to this one became a annoying and I gave up 30% in to the book. Audible can make or break a book unfortunately this one didnt work for me as its difficult to concentrate on the words when the narrator is using cartoonish voices or on some of the characters and because this is a story where there are many chara I feel kind of cheated out what could have been a great story by a truly dreadful narration on audible. Some of the voices were totally over the top and sounded cartoonish and listening to this one became a annoying and I gave up 30% in to the book. Audible can make or break a book unfortunately this one didnt work for me as its difficult to concentrate on the words when the narrator is using cartoonish voices or on some of the characters and because this is a story where there are many characters and many stories this can become quite tedious. However the great thing about audible is you can return the book if for whatever reason you are not enjoying the experience and I think this is works pretty well as every now and again I come across a narrator that just takes away from a book. While I didn't enjoy the audio version I dont think I will invest in the hard copy format as I found the structure of the story confusing and while I like books that examine mother and daugher relationships and stories where American Immigrants families tell their stories, I did find the story skipped around too much and I was having difficulty connecting with the characters. Again this may be down to the audio version but I am not feeling the love so not going to invest any more time or cash on this one.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    Those of you who read my blog are most likely aware that my relationship with my mother is not all bouncing bunnies and beautiful butterflies. As an American-born son raised with traditionally Asian standards, my childhood has been filled with conflicts resulting in screaming matches and bountiful tears. So reading The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan was quite the vicarious experience - though I am not Chinese nor a daughter, I could connect to several of the themes that ran throughout the novel.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    Ok, I admit it, I was obsessed with Amy Tan my first year of college. I learned all there was about her, read The Joy Luck Club, and finally I gave up hope. As a freshmen, at Linfield College, I was astonished that Amy Tan could have possibly walked the same hallowed halls of Melrose, perhaps sat in the same offices in the English department, or read a book in Northrup's astro-turf room. My daydreams were filled with her coming over to my dorm room to have tea and "talk literature." She would te Ok, I admit it, I was obsessed with Amy Tan my first year of college. I learned all there was about her, read The Joy Luck Club, and finally I gave up hope. As a freshmen, at Linfield College, I was astonished that Amy Tan could have possibly walked the same hallowed halls of Melrose, perhaps sat in the same offices in the English department, or read a book in Northrup's astro-turf room. My daydreams were filled with her coming over to my dorm room to have tea and "talk literature." She would tell me what truly inspired her, some secrets and a few great jokes. In reality, I spent a lot of time looking her up in the old yearbooks at the library, Oak Leaves circa 1970 and 1971 (I think). Horribly despicable. I did learn some of her secrets. I learned that she never graduated from Linfield, which pretty much means nothing...but I did discover that she (possibly) met her husband there, Mr. Lou DeMattei. Also during this first year of Linfield, I got one of those jobs at the PHONE-A-THON, calling alumni to "update their information" and beg for donations. I was going to call Amy Tan, and speak with her myself. Thankfully, for my sanity, I quit before that happened. Amy began to dissolve as an enigma for me, she was just another celebrity, another writer of a book. The book was beautifully written and for obvious reasons made me homesick. It made me feel closer to my mother than ever, and I knew that, like the women in the book, I would have a special bond with her forever. The sad thing is, after I finished the book, my love affair a la John Hinckley Jr. with Amy Tan ended, and I cannot bear to pick up any of her other books. Another hilarious thing is I found this on Tan's website: [http://www.amytan.net/MythsAndLegends...] Please make special note of personal errata #2 and #9. I rest my case. We were meant to be with each other.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I feel a little torn on this one . . . What I liked: - I really enjoyed seeing story lines and character relationships come together in the last third of the book. - The peek into Chinese culture was interesting and new to me. - I like the idea of mother-daughter relationships represented. What I didn't like: - I don't enjoy waiting until the last third of a book to be interested. I really found the majority of this book pretty slow. And I'm totally okay I feel a little torn on this one . . . What I liked: - I really enjoyed seeing story lines and character relationships come together in the last third of the book. - The peek into Chinese culture was interesting and new to me. - I like the idea of mother-daughter relationships represented. What I didn't like: - I don't enjoy waiting until the last third of a book to be interested. I really found the majority of this book pretty slow. And I'm totally okay with slow as long as it has some other redeeming value--great characters, great writing, great . . . anything. But it was really just slow for me. - I found the characters confusing in a lot of ways. First of all, I think needing a character chart at the start of the book is a bad sign . . . if your characters are really well-developed and well-written, a chart probably shouldn't be necessary. But by the end of the book, I was still flipping back to the dang chart to figure out who was who, and still felt like I had no idea who the characters were, personality-wise. Not to mention the multiple radical 180-degree flips some of the characters performed with no warning or explanation whatsoever, that left me going, "Huuuuh?" - I found the relationships frustrating. With a teensy exception at the very very end of the novel (seriously, like, last 3 sentences), it seemed like none of the mothers and daughters (or even husbands and wives or friends) understood each other or were capable of communicating with each other at all. And that bothered me, because I expected a book that was going to make me feel all warm and fuzzy about being a mom. I understand that this was supposed to show the cultural split between the Chinese born-and-bred mothers and American born daughters, but how sad that none of them could overcome that to have a real relationship. Mostly, this book felt to me like something I would have been assigned to read in high school, written a 2-page report on, and never thought about again. It wasn't bad by any means, but, for me, it left a lot to be desired.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Julie Ehlers

    I'm not generally someone who rereads a lot of books, but 30 years (!) seems to be the mark at which I become curious about whether I'll still feel the same way about some of my favorites. Amy Tan is an interesting case, because she's still writing novels, I've read nearly all of them, and I've liked them all—there aren't many authors I can say that about! It's a potential landmine to rereading, because all the things that seemed fresh and new about The Joy Luck Club have since become Tan's oft-imit I'm not generally someone who rereads a lot of books, but 30 years (!) seems to be the mark at which I become curious about whether I'll still feel the same way about some of my favorites. Amy Tan is an interesting case, because she's still writing novels, I've read nearly all of them, and I've liked them all—there aren't many authors I can say that about! It's a potential landmine to rereading, because all the things that seemed fresh and new about The Joy Luck Club have since become Tan's oft-imitated trademarks. Would the whole thing seem old-hat to me now? Fortunately, this is where a scaffolding of good writing comes in handy. At this point in my life I'm less enamored of books with multiple narrators, and to be perfectly honest I had a little trouble keeping everyone straight, which I don't think was a problem the first time I read this. But the simple, lively writing, the humor, the great characters, the perfect level of detail—not too much or too little—was all just as I remembered, and the ending moved me to tears exactly as I'm sure it did the first time around. Back when The Joy Luck Club was a publishing sensation, I don't think we could've guessed it would be around forever, but except for one character getting a perm, this novel doesn't seem the least bit dated. If you've never read this before, what are you waiting for? And if you have, feel free to dive in again without reservation.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Duane

    Amy Tan's very successful first novel was a national best-seller, a finalist for the National Book Award, and was made into a movie. It is a novel about four Chinese mothers who came to America during World War II, and their four Chinese/American daughters. The mothers quietly hold on to their past, their culture, and it's traditions, while adapting to their American life. They try to pass the essence of what is most important about their old culture on to their daughters, who, being born in Am Amy Tan's very successful first novel was a national best-seller, a finalist for the National Book Award, and was made into a movie. It is a novel about four Chinese mothers who came to America during World War II, and their four Chinese/American daughters. The mothers quietly hold on to their past, their culture, and it's traditions, while adapting to their American life. They try to pass the essence of what is most important about their old culture on to their daughters, who, being born in America, are only interrested in American culture and lifestyles. They scoff at their mothers for acting too Chinese. All eight characters, four mothers, four daughters, have a narrative in the story. It's a compelling story of mothers and daughters, the power of maternal love, and youth's struggle to establish independence, to find their own way. Mothers may be harder on their daughters than on their sons because they have already made the mistakes, and they know the pitfalls that await their daughters. What was most enjoyable for me in the novel was the stories of the mothers, their past lives in China, from little girrls to adulthood, before they came to America. It's the story of their struggles with their own mothers, and how the impact of culture, traditions, and World War II shaped their lives. I struggled somewhat with the structure of the novel. You have eight different narratives spread over four families, two countries, and a half century. Tying that all together, along with the secondary characters, was daunting at times. I read the book and listened to the audiobook at the same time. The accents and intonations of the narrator was a big plus. 4 solid stars.

  12. 4 out of 5

    aPriL does feral sometimes

    Amy Tan's 'The Joy Luck Club' is a monumental novel about the epic love of Mothers and Daughters (so everyday common that all societies ignore the miracle and beauty of it). These mothers and daughters are connected by their genes, but they are separated by their culture and life experiences despite living under the same roof for decades - however, all are very very very fortunate with the joy and luck of each one growing up loving each other. To me, this seems to be almost a Great Book, but wit Amy Tan's 'The Joy Luck Club' is a monumental novel about the epic love of Mothers and Daughters (so everyday common that all societies ignore the miracle and beauty of it). These mothers and daughters are connected by their genes, but they are separated by their culture and life experiences despite living under the same roof for decades - however, all are very very very fortunate with the joy and luck of each one growing up loving each other. To me, this seems to be almost a Great Book, but with much more relationship and family comedy represented and without the width of life present in Great Books (the effects of war were strikingly missing or compressed, as were the more terrible dramas of abuse or starvation). The narrow view of the story focusing on 'female' aspects of life, as well as, perhaps, the genre styling, declare this is a Woman's Great Book. Unfortunately, because it is focused on the typical constrained life of women, as well as being narrowed to parent/child love, I suspect many do not respect it. Thankfully, it was short-listed by many literary organizations. The one thing I did not enjoy myself about this novel was its structure. It is divided into four sets of four short stories per four eras of time from the point of view of each of four sets of mothers/daughters. Four Chinese women immigrate to America after tough lives of proscribed emotions and lack of personal fulfillment. Three of them marry Chinese-Americans, one marries an American. All of them have American-born children. Each of them has a daughter who never learns the Chinese language beyond a few expressions and nothing of Chinese culture except odd mystifying stories of admonishment and instruction from their mothers. The Chinese mothers are born and then married to their first husbands in China, for the most part in arranged marriages. But they end up eventually in America with second husbands, except for one mother who has only one marriage. Their daughters are born in America and they grow away from their mothers for a time. The daughters do not understand very much about their Chinese culture or their mothers, even though they observe and obey to a limited degree what their mothers wanted. However, once the daughters marry, sometimes twice, they grow close to their mothers. What I noticed was the Chinese mothers keep learning, changing and growing, too, along with their daughters, but these changes by the mothers were often completely overlooked by the daughters until much later. The progression of their relationships actually sounds like a universal one to me! The barriers of generational differences were definitely higher between post-war women from China and late 20th-century American women, especially because of cultural expectations and duties. Language affects how the brain works as well. http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/0... http://www.pnas.org/content/105/10/40... http://ideas.ted.com/5-examples-of-ho... Some readers thought Tan treated the mothers disrespectfully because she exposes the syncopated and peculiar, at least to the American mind as well as to these Chinese-American daughters, Chinese wisdom tales and country folk-quotes common to Chinese villages in the past. I think, to me as an American, these Chinese sayings and stories are very weird and opaque, but I bet one of the fault-lines of perception is built-in due to the differing constructions and pronouncing of words and sentences between English and Chinese (whether Mandarin or Cantonese). Besides, it is obvious to me these instances of comical miscommunication and fractured understandings in conversations between mother and daughter are not only based on reality, they are one of the bricks which support the loving relationship of daughters for their mothers. Many men, and I guess some women, do not understand love can be deepened by a daughter's feeling that her mother is a cute, even if spiky, supportive darling whose cultural oddities will be recalled with deep affection long after the parent is gone. The concept of 'Face' and its connection to respect of elders is pure idiocy to me, especially when 'respect' is considered more important than affection. I do NOT think respect is more important than affection! I suspect some of the other reader complaints is based on a perceived lack of respect because of the American author's reveal of the American daughters' reactions to seeing cuteness and comedy in the oddities of the mothers teaching moments in translated vernacular. I saw my hearing cousins have giggly moments with translation peculiarities with their deaf parents; and I also saw their affection and underlying mutual, sometimes belated, recognition of comedic goings on in unintentional operatic emotional gestures of misunderstandings in their flying hands. There is a lot of universal human depths of love and support between mothers and daughters hidden in these pages, although the focus is on Chinese social mores. However, I could also see that American cultural mores had eroded away parts of the Chinese social prism of the mothers. I did pick up how much more painful it was for a Chinese mother to love a Chinese daughter in China in the past.(view spoiler)[ In the book and in real life Chinese mothers had to learn for themselves and teach their Chinese daughters in turn to 'eat their pain' from the lack of fulfillment or autonomy in Chinese culture, even to the point of stopping up natural love and affection by showing only harsh cruelty and cold dislike towards their daughters, often necessary for the personal survival of both mother and daughter. These mothers had such a harsh life compared to their American daughters, and the girls never knew until almost too late. (hide spoiler)] Patriarchal cultures are just plain fucking evil! This novel, as do many other novels and histories, demonstrates how terrible and torturous to women patriarchy is in the China chapters. Modern America has many problems, but at least it does not any longer culturally encourage mothers to kill off their love for daughters because girls are considered almost worthless commodities only men have the right to dispose of as if their daughters were ugly couches.(view spoiler)[ It was thrilling how these immigrant mothers in Tan's novel wasted no time in encouraging their daughters to have careers, despite the daughters' obliviousness to the source of their mothers' often overeager pushing. (hide spoiler)] I think one day I will return to this book to read it again, but instead of reading it as the book is arranged in flipping between eight character narratives, each chapter a short story by a mother in one part, then each daughter having alternate chapters in the next part, I will stick with one family's narration skipping the other three until the end, then I'll go back to the beginning and read through another mother/daughter linked narrative. I loved this book! So much joy and luck, indeed!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Paul E. Morph

    The Joy Luck Club is a great book. It tells the stories of four women who were born in China but were forced to leave due to various tragic circumstances, and their four daughters who were all born in America. The novel explores the cultural divide between the two generations of women and explores how national identity influences people's lives. The daughters are all, to some degree, frustrated by their mothers' inability to shake off their anachronistic Chinese superstitious behavior The Joy Luck Club is a great book. It tells the stories of four women who were born in China but were forced to leave due to various tragic circumstances, and their four daughters who were all born in America. The novel explores the cultural divide between the two generations of women and explores how national identity influences people's lives. The daughters are all, to some degree, frustrated by their mothers' inability to shake off their anachronistic Chinese superstitious behavior (as their daughters think of it) and seeming reluctance to embrace the culture of their new home. The mothers despair at the willingness of their daughters to distance themselves from their heritage. Amy Tan writes all eight characters' viewpoints sympathetically and I never felt like I was being told which viewpoint was the 'correct' one. As with most things in life, it all comes down to the fact that there are pros and cons to any way of life, which is one of the reasons this life can be so hard to navigate. The structure of this book is very clever, although it might go completely over your head if you're not at least passingly familiar with mahjong. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the game, the structure of mahjong is that four players have to play four hands of tiles each. The novel mimics this by having four larger sections, each divided into four smaller parts. Superficially, the book reads like a collection of interconnected short stories, rather than a cohesive novel, but the author interweaves these stories so adeptly that it all comes together by the end of the book I found this book to be deeply moving and I even had tears in my eyes at one point. This was my first Amy Tan novel but I will definitely be reading more of her work in future. P.S. - Gwendoline Yeo does an absolutely fantastic job reading the audiobook version. She switches between different voices and accents fluidly and seemingly effortlessly... and there are a lot of different voices in this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ngoc

    I love this book! As a first generation child in this country (my parents immigrated from Vietnam), I could really relate to the girls in the story. I was the girl who played piano, always being forced to practice. Although I loved music and was a talented pianist, I quit because I couldn't deal with the pressure anymore. It wasn't for my enjoyment, it was to please my parents (or at least that's what it seemed like). I think we all have ways of dealing with the pressures of childhood. A difference I love this book! As a first generation child in this country (my parents immigrated from Vietnam), I could really relate to the girls in the story. I was the girl who played piano, always being forced to practice. Although I loved music and was a talented pianist, I quit because I couldn't deal with the pressure anymore. It wasn't for my enjoyment, it was to please my parents (or at least that's what it seemed like). I think we all have ways of dealing with the pressures of childhood. A difference this book made for me was actually reading about Asian [American] people. Throughout my life/education, it was always the books about white people but I never experienced reading about my culture until I read Joy Luck Club. I like how she incorporates the old and the new. Obviously the girls' stories could not be told without knowing those of the mothers. I think Amy Tan is fabulous at painting the picture of everything involved in the Asian-Asian American immigrant-first generation experience: differences in culture, assimilating to the new country, passing down the old traditions, the rollercoaster of emotions all family members go through in a different way. I have read Joy Luck Club many times. I think I want to read it again just after writing this review; it's that good.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Zanna

    4.5 stars The blurb on this edition focusses on the struggles of mothers and daughters to understand and help each other, and Tan's skill in conveying emotions. As usual, there is no acknowledgement of the book as a feminist work, so I'm going to begin by hailing it as such in all its woman-oriented glory. Aside from the fact that men are merely accessory to all of the narrative strands, and that the majority of conversations are between women and girls, Tan positively critiques patri 4.5 stars The blurb on this edition focusses on the struggles of mothers and daughters to understand and help each other, and Tan's skill in conveying emotions. As usual, there is no acknowledgement of the book as a feminist work, so I'm going to begin by hailing it as such in all its woman-oriented glory. Aside from the fact that men are merely accessory to all of the narrative strands, and that the majority of conversations are between women and girls, Tan positively critiques patriarchal tropes throughout by revealing the constrictions on women's lives imposed structurally through their chattel position as wives and mothers, through their socialisation by older women, and through the domineering behaviour of men. Very overt features of gendered hierarchies which tend to hide in plain sight are kept in view, and Tan writes very cleverly to reveal more subtle aspects, making them evident in countless interactions, punctuating these little revelations with pauses for contemplation. Below the surface swim slow thoughts lightly veiled:Even the old ladies had put on their best clothes to celebrate: Mama's aunt, Baba's mother and her cousin, and Great-uncle's fat wife, who still plucked her forehead bald and always walked as if she were crossing a slippery stream, two tiny steps and a scared lookThis is surely an intimation, from a child's perspective, that the woman has bound feet. The treatment of An-Mei's mother, who has become a concubine to a rich man after being widowed, illuminates some of the distinctive features of (pre-communist) Chinese heteropatriarchy. However, Tan is not about to aid the cause of USian supremacy and White saviourism by setting stories like this against a mythical American equality; her depictions of marriages and relationships in the US reveal a different but hardly better situation for women, especially Chinese/immigrant women for whom White husbands feel entitled to speak. My favourite mother-as-girl story is Lindo Jong's. Trapped in a marriage that places her in servitude to an exacting and heartless mother-in-law, she nonetheless uses great ingenuity. The moment when she recognises her impressive inner resources is striking; few girls can rely on such self-confidence and awareness, but even so armed, her empowerment is very limited, so the story throws light on the real plight of girls like her. I was even more fascinated though, by the ways that Chinese cultural values and traditions played out in her scheming. This happened throughout the book; modes of modesty, influencing of feelings and events, showing love, all revealed ways of knowing and being rooted in different soils and waters and fed by different suns from those that have nourished me. Miscommunication, misunderstanding, is inevitable in the meeting of USian directness and the more subtle, artful Chinese manner of expression, heedful of hidden feelings deduced through the fine filaments of perceptive empathy only a combination of shared culture, affinity and thoughtfulness can forge. Careful reading reveals that supposed 'directness' leaves many things sadly incommunicable. Much humour is made at the mothers' expense:One day, as she struggled to weave a hard-toothed comb through my disobedient hair, I had a sly thought. I asked her 'Ma, what is Chinese torture?' My mother shook her head. A bobby pin was wedged between her lips. She wetted her palm and smoothed the hair above my ear, then pushed the pin in so that it nicked sharply against my scalp. 'Who say this word?' she asked without a trace of knowing how wicked I was being. I shrugged my shoulders and said 'Some boy in my class said Chinese people do Chinese torture.' 'Chinese people do many things,' she said simply. 'Chinese people do business, do medicine, do painting. Not lazy like American people. We do torture. Best torture.'This kind of intimate mockery is hilarious, but a risky thing to gift to an outsider like me. I had the feeling that I must be careful not to generalise beyond time, place and particularity, to find myself thinking 'I know this about Chinese mothers, because I read it in The Joy Luck Club'. Another difficulty I had was with disturbing aspects of anti-Blackness and homophobia which I wanted to chase up, but which had to be let drop, presumably for the next generation, the grandaughters, to decolonise. I enjoyed, on the other hand, the wry laughs minted from the thoughtlessness self centredness of ignorant White men. Degrees of integration vary, but all of the mothers are at some stage shocked by the extent of their daughters' assimilation into USian culture, while the daughters feel to some extent cut off from their Chinese heritage. If I wanted to extract a lesson, it would be: maintain your culture against Whiteness! Whatever is in you or known to you that is not White, honour it, nourish it, tell it, create with it, share it, weave it into the new stories you live and make. It takes, surely, deep effort and much energy to resist the action of White supremacy, the hollowing out of living cultures into exotified fetishes, consumable and subsumed. I recommend this book especially to those who like reading about food, as I do. Tan presents a culture relentlessly attentive to good eating, the comforts of the table, and the expression of love through cooking. The demythologising fortune cookie story, brilliantly conceived, is, to me, this book in a nutshell.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brad

    I gave The Joy Luck Club two stars, but that ranking is based solely on my personal enjoyment of the novel. I feel, quite honestly, that I do not have any business judging the quality of Amy Tan's most famous work. I am a white, bearded, slightly overweight, off-kilter, stay-at-home Dad/author who teaches part time at a Canadian university and full time at home. I love dark and violent American literature. I love speculative fiction. I love Aubrey/Maturin. I love Shakespeare. I love Keats and I gave The Joy Luck Club two stars, but that ranking is based solely on my personal enjoyment of the novel. I feel, quite honestly, that I do not have any business judging the quality of Amy Tan's most famous work. I am a white, bearded, slightly overweight, off-kilter, stay-at-home Dad/author who teaches part time at a Canadian university and full time at home. I love dark and violent American literature. I love speculative fiction. I love Aubrey/Maturin. I love Shakespeare. I love Keats and Byron and Blake. I love the Lost Generation. What I know of China comes from indoctrinated Cold War disdain, my Marxist world view, martial arts movies, a few trips to Epcot center, my love for Asian cuisine, M*A*S*H*, bad television documentaries, and the contradictions that adhere to that bizarre list (oops! I almost forgot Big Trouble in Little China). So I recognize that I see The Joy Luck Club though a massive filter. There are countless removes between me and those beautiful ladies doing their "tiger-mom" bit between games of Mah-Jong and good eats. I appreciated the window into an experience that I wouldn't otherwise have in my world; I sympathized with their stories and struggles; I pulled for their happiness and that of their daughters; I kept reading dutifully. But I never really felt myself understanding any of these women despite my desire to do so. My two stars are my failure rather than Tan's. She did her job well. It just wasn't my pot of green tea. I wish it were.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    It amazes me that The Joy Luck Club is almost 25 years old, yet I'm not sure why as it seems as though I've known about it for most of my life. It's just one of those books everyone seems to have heard of. Why I put off reading it for so long I can't say. Though this book didn't quite live up to my expectations, I'm glad I read it. I think the main problem was that the book felt like it needed to be longer. There were eight central characters, four mothers and their four daughters, and wi It amazes me that The Joy Luck Club is almost 25 years old, yet I'm not sure why as it seems as though I've known about it for most of my life. It's just one of those books everyone seems to have heard of. Why I put off reading it for so long I can't say. Though this book didn't quite live up to my expectations, I'm glad I read it. I think the main problem was that the book felt like it needed to be longer. There were eight central characters, four mothers and their four daughters, and with the chapters being somewhat short and the book being under 300 pages, there was not a lot of time for Tan to completely develop her characters. In fact, several of them merged into one uber-tragic-Chinese-female character in my brain, especially the mothers. It was hard to distinguish them and their back stories from each other. I preferred the daughter chapters. The "Americanized" daughters and their Caucasian boyfriends and husbands and ex-husbands and their westernized failures and miseries and competitiveness. Their messy divorces and careers and therapists. They're not quite American and not quite Chinese. Tan captured the tension and misunderstandings between the mothers and daughters well. Being a daughter of immigrants myself, I found myself smiling and smirking quite often at this in-between world that only us first generationers can truly understand.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Megan Baxter

    It kind of says something when I want to bounce ideas about the book I'm reading off my husband, and all I can think to say is, "meh, it's fine." (He's gotten quite used to having me talk about books he hasn't had a chance to read yet, and tends to have amazing insights anyway. And if he doesn't, I at least get to formulate my ideas out loud, which is always how I think best, and he listens patiently.) Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and en It kind of says something when I want to bounce ideas about the book I'm reading off my husband, and all I can think to say is, "meh, it's fine." (He's gotten quite used to having me talk about books he hasn't had a chance to read yet, and tends to have amazing insights anyway. And if he doesn't, I at least get to formulate my ideas out loud, which is always how I think best, and he listens patiently.) Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here. In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    This book had really good writing and interesting characters. I went into this thinking it was one big story and I was disappointed to find it was not. It was a bunch of short stories that interconnected sort of like Olive Kitteridge. I think I would have been more emotionally invested in it had it been one story where the characters could really grow into themselves. With that said, I am excited to try some of Tan's other books.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jaclyn

    Mothers and daughters. Mothers and daughters and families losing and finding each other across cultural boundaries. There's enough material there for Amy Tan to write a thousand books. Suyuan Woo has died and left an empty place at the mah-jongg table. Her daughter, Jing-Mei "June" Woo is invited to join the game, which her mother named the Joy Luck Club. There must always be four men and four women in the club, and Jing-Mei's father has chosen her to take his wife's place. Through he Mothers and daughters. Mothers and daughters and families losing and finding each other across cultural boundaries. There's enough material there for Amy Tan to write a thousand books. Suyuan Woo has died and left an empty place at the mah-jongg table. Her daughter, Jing-Mei "June" Woo is invited to join the game, which her mother named the Joy Luck Club. There must always be four men and four women in the club, and Jing-Mei's father has chosen her to take his wife's place. Through her mother's friends An-Mei, Lindo and Ying-Ying, Jing-Mei comes to learn about her mother's life story and secrets she never told. Jing-Mei's journey of discovery weaves in and out of the story of the other three women and their daughters, An-Mei and Rose, Lindo and Waverly, Ying-Ying and Lena. The three "aunties" who sit at the other corners of the mah-jongg table bemoan the breakdown in communication with their American-raised daughters, who seem to have all misplaced their Chinese identity. Lena and Rose are lost souls in disintegrating marriages. Waverly does seem to want to reclaim some of her Chinese culture, but can't get over old anger and misunderstandings. Only Jing-mei is ultimately able to transcend the generational and cultural gap between the mothers and daughters. She sheds her American name, June, and becomes Jing-Mei at the beginning of the book when she is first invited to take her mother's place in the Joy Luck Club. She is something of an ambassador between the younger American-born generation and her mother's friends. Still, she is unable to understand the message An-Mei, Lindo and Ying-Ying are trying to communicate to her, until she finally asks her father to tell her about her mother. When Jing-Mei's father tells her what her Chinese name means, she finally grasps her mother's history and legacy. "The Joy Luck Club" is a beautifully written book, but it's more than that. I was swept up in the language at times, but I never lost sight of the underlying story - four women struggling to leave their reluctant daughters their "life's importance." Although it's a story that focuses heavily on the influence of Chinese culture on mother-daughter relationships, any woman can relate to its lovely and powerful message.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jasmin

    The Joy Luck Club is: ...to hold parties and pretend each week had become the new year. Each week we could also forget the wrongs done to us. We weren't allowed to think a bad thought. We feasted, we laughed, we played games, lost and won, we told best stories. And each week, we could hope to be lucky. That hope was our only joy. And that's how we came to call our little parties Joy Luck. A mahjong table. Four positions to fill. The North, West, East and South. A game where the winner takes all, and the lose/>...to The Joy Luck Club is: ...to hold parties and pretend each week had become the new year. Each week we could also forget the wrongs done to us. We weren't allowed to think a bad thought. We feasted, we laughed, we played games, lost and won, we told best stories. And each week, we could hope to be lucky. That hope was our only joy. And that's how we came to call our little parties Joy Luck. A mahjong table. Four positions to fill. The North, West, East and South. A game where the winner takes all, and the loser takes leftovers. Everyone's a winner. But there's a death, and the filling in by a daughter. Four daughters. Four mothers. Eight lives. Eight stories to share. All connected by the Joy Luck Club. The Joy Luck Club is a beautifully written poignant tale of Chinese women trying to fit in in America. It's highly inspirational, and I think everyone, even non-Chinese could use a little Feng Sui in their lives, in the form of The Joy Luck Club. Thus highly recommended! The book is mostly depressing, but though this is fiction, one couldn't help but feel the women's despairs and pains. The book feels real, not just to the touch, but to the soul as well. Heartwarming, and heart-wrenching. Bitter and sweet. The Joy Luck Club is a tale to be devoured and enjoyed by mothers and daughters. (but sons could enjoy this as well). And in the end, one could not help but be touched in the heart. WARNING: For non-Chinese readers, who have no background with Chinese names, prepare a pen to jot notes, because a particular trouble of mine was I quite mixing the women up and couldn't tell who from who. My excuse, I am not Chinese. LOL! :)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Julian

    I disliked the book because although some parts were well written, overall it was just rather repetitive. It is nearly impossible to tell all of the mothers and all of the daughters and their respective love interests apart. All of the mothers have the nearly the same issues as do all of the daughters. It would be a better book of the story were not repeated so many times that it loses it's color. It makes it seem like Amy Tan is a one trick pony. This book also has nearly the exact same plot as I disliked the book because although some parts were well written, overall it was just rather repetitive. It is nearly impossible to tell all of the mothers and all of the daughters and their respective love interests apart. All of the mothers have the nearly the same issues as do all of the daughters. It would be a better book of the story were not repeated so many times that it loses it's color. It makes it seem like Amy Tan is a one trick pony. This book also has nearly the exact same plot as "The Bonesetter's Daughter". I just feel like the theme of the Chinese immigrant mother having difficulty connecting with their Chinese-American daughters who in turn have problems connecting with their mothers and with their Caucasian love interests was endlessly repeated. It is just the same plot grossly overused. This book was difficult to read, and it was also difficult to understand why it was so popular.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nicola

    A story that had stayed with me. Very emotional and sad .

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    Books like “The Joy Luck Club” are not really my usual fare, but I was curious about this one: I do enjoy stories about people who live in an overlap of different cultures, because that’s something I am quite familiar with; the preservation of cultural patrimony is also something very close to home, as both sides of my family tree are adamant about keeping their traditions alive, even if they have been in Canada for a generation or two at this point. When Suyuan passes away, her daugh Books like “The Joy Luck Club” are not really my usual fare, but I was curious about this one: I do enjoy stories about people who live in an overlap of different cultures, because that’s something I am quite familiar with; the preservation of cultural patrimony is also something very close to home, as both sides of my family tree are adamant about keeping their traditions alive, even if they have been in Canada for a generation or two at this point. When Suyuan passes away, her daughter June is asked to take her place in the mah-jong club she founded when she arrived in America; by talking with her mother’s friends, their husbands and children, she will come to understand her in a way that might have not been possible had she still been alive. I think that the best way to enjoy this book is to take it as a collection of interconnected character studies, and the mutual influence their experience had on each other. Mother-daughter relationships are such a tricky thing to capture well, and Tan knows full well that such bonds are rife with love, but also misunderstandings. I have often wondered if parents will ever be able to truly understand their children, and vice versa. The four Chinese women who emigrate to San Francisco after living through terrible hardships have a perspective their daughters simply don’t have. They want to preserve a patrimony, an echo of their culture, but their daughters do not feel the pull of a lost homeland, and simply want to live where they are now, in America. They grew up side by side with American kids, who find their parents’ ways strange and archaic, and don’t really get why they hang on so desperately to their ties to a place that saw the worse days of their lives unfold. I know the book got very criticized about the stereotypical portrayals it features, and I admit that this is certainly a flaw. But from a point of view of pure literary enjoyment, I was more bothered by how choppy and repetitive it was. While the characters have very interesting stories, they can be hard to tell apart, though the classic repetition of patterns from generation to generation is perhaps more accurate than we might think. I think that if the book had focused only one mother-daughter duo, it might have had more room to breathe and develop the story. As it was, I felt that it was too episodic for me to get fully engaged. Nevertheless, a lovely read about a layered and complicated subject. Worth checking out!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Britany

    Mothers and their daughters, difficult bonds, different generations, different cultures, brought together in this novel. Four Chinese mothers and their four respective daughters tell stories about their lives, their weaknesses, and how they view each other. What is was like to grow up and it's wonderful to appreciate the different perspectives and strong stories that are portrayed. I really wanted to love this book, it just felt choppy. I felt that the stories pulled the st Mothers and their daughters, difficult bonds, different generations, different cultures, brought together in this novel. Four Chinese mothers and their four respective daughters tell stories about their lives, their weaknesses, and how they view each other. What is was like to grow up and it's wonderful to appreciate the different perspectives and strong stories that are portrayed. I really wanted to love this book, it just felt choppy. I felt that the stories pulled the story apart, so it read more like a book of short stories (not a fan!) and I had a hard time reminding myself who went with whom. It was difficult to remember that these stories tied together, as most of them felt like they could've been stand alone stories of hardship. There were moments of triumph and moments where I wanted to hug these characters, ultimately, didn't fall as hard as I wanted to.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Book of the Month

    Amy Tan’s extraordinary 1989 novel explores the divide between Chinese immigrants to the US and their children, first generation Americans being raised in San Francisco. Over games of mah jong and close-knit conversations, The Joy Luck Club delves into the backstories of four mothers and their four daughters. Their lives, especially their childhoods, are vastly different and yet interconnected in numerous ways that Tan recounts with equal parts anger and empathy. — Book of the Month

  27. 4 out of 5

    Syndi

    I am third generation born Chinese. I am so glad I found this book. Most of my life I always can see eye to eye with my mom. She is second generation born Chinese who already helping her family since age 12. This book, explore all of those cultural aspect of mother and daughter that is born in different generation. how a daughter years her mother approval. But yet the mother seems aloof. I can relate to that.

  28. 4 out of 5

    May

    The Joy Luck Club is a tremendously well written book filled with passion, emotion, and love that arises from family interactions. This book is written in the form of eight vignettes, four from four different women (the mothers) and four from their daughters. This book concentrates on four Chinese American immigrant families that start this "club" for playing the traditional game of Mahjong. The story begins with June Woo who had just lost her mother to an aneurysm. She was chosen to replace her The Joy Luck Club is a tremendously well written book filled with passion, emotion, and love that arises from family interactions. This book is written in the form of eight vignettes, four from four different women (the mothers) and four from their daughters. This book concentrates on four Chinese American immigrant families that start this "club" for playing the traditional game of Mahjong. The story begins with June Woo who had just lost her mother to an aneurysm. She was chosen to replace her mothers seat in the club with the four other mothers. She always had a rocky and foreign relationship with her mother and through this club and her interactions with her mother's close friends, she unfolds the story that her mother had never had the opportunity to tell. Also, all the different narratives show the relationship between that of a mother and a daughter of the rest of the Joy Luck Club members. With these narratives unfold personal emotions and feelings that they have withheld from one another and gives all readers a inside depth understanding of the mindset of a parent and a child and sees the position of thought in both. There were many themes throughout this book that I found to be interesting and personally touching. First of all, when I had first read the narratives of the mothers, I realized the difficulties of assimilation and adaptation to the "American Life". I had several flashbacks to what my childhood was like and what my parents had endured while immigrating the United States. Additionally, me being a first generation child in the US gave me an understanding of the daughters in Amy Tan's (the author) book. The daughters experienced a totally different life than their mothers and thus the drifting in connection between them begin to increase. But through June Woo and her listening to the women's stories about her mother and about themselves, she received an understanding of not only her mother, but of her own self and her identity. I found this book to be an easy read and of importance to all those with immigrant families or had faced similar experiences because it is, in my perspective, one of the best written books surrounding the theme of cultural boundaries and immigration.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Aoibhínn

    This is a beautifully written novel that describes the lives of four Chinese mothers, who left China for America, and their Chinese-American daughters. All the characters are well developed and the personalities of each one come through very strongly. The stories of the mothers' lives in China are sensitively and delicately combined with the perceptions of the daughters, making the novel eloquently poignant tale. The author captures the complexities of the relationships between the mothers and d This is a beautifully written novel that describes the lives of four Chinese mothers, who left China for America, and their Chinese-American daughters. All the characters are well developed and the personalities of each one come through very strongly. The stories of the mothers' lives in China are sensitively and delicately combined with the perceptions of the daughters, making the novel eloquently poignant tale. The author captures the complexities of the relationships between the mothers and daughters extremely well. It was fascinating to read about the history of the Chinese mothers', and how their experiences affected their relationships with her American-born daughters, who couldn't really begin to understand what their mothers went through before leaving China for a better life. Although it is a captivating and enticing novel, at times it is often easy to become confused about what mother goes with which daughter. A small gripe about an otherwise superb novel. Five stars!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Arah-Lynda

    This is a beautiful book, full of beautiful stories that center around four Chinese women (pre 1949) and their lives in China before they come to America, settle in California and have daughters of their own. Now their daughters are grown Chinese-American women, each with their own story to tell. Seperately each of these tales is powerful and moving in it's own right but woven together they form a rich, evocative tapestry that gently, gracefully illuminates the bond, often threadbare, that exist This is a beautiful book, full of beautiful stories that center around four Chinese women (pre 1949) and their lives in China before they come to America, settle in California and have daughters of their own. Now their daughters are grown Chinese-American women, each with their own story to tell. Seperately each of these tales is powerful and moving in it's own right but woven together they form a rich, evocative tapestry that gently, gracefully illuminates the bond, often threadbare, that exists between generations and vastly different cultures. I love the way the author allows the reader to find their own connection, their own enlightenment in this narrative of fierce love and misunderstanding.

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