Customer Reviews for

The Joy Luck Club

Average Rating 4.5
( 293 )
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(153)

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(32)

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(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

18 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

A Chinese World

The Joy Luck Club is a story that portrays the different vignettes of four tenacious Chinese immigrant mothers and their first generation strong American daughters. As a first generation Chinese myself, I could immediately relate to some of the difficulties that the dau...
The Joy Luck Club is a story that portrays the different vignettes of four tenacious Chinese immigrant mothers and their first generation strong American daughters. As a first generation Chinese myself, I could immediately relate to some of the difficulties that the daughters faced, and many of the vignettes of the mothers reminded me of my parents/grandparents stories. The story also gives the reader a glimpse into the life of a typical Chinese lady in the 20th century and introduces the reader to Chinese culture and society.

In the book, the daughters often try to be free from the constant nagging of the mother's, and one of the daughters even views her mother as an obstacle she must overcome, her own personal battle. I could really relate to the hard time that the daughters faced, because I myself am used to having my grandpa always comment on everything I do. His complaining would often leave me feeling imprisoned and constrained. I just wanted to get away from everything and anything that had to do with my family. However, through the course of this book I came to realize that the nitpicking of the older generation was just their own unique way of showing their love for their children.

Many times, the Chinese daughters are often left confused by their mother's messages. The daughters cannot relate and understand the underlying meaning because of the different cultures that the mothers and daughters come from. While the Chinese culture is a high context culture the American culture is the polar opposite, a low context culture. Often times, the clashing of cultures would lead to confusion and frustration on both sides. I think that another reason why the mothers and daughters have such a difficult time understanding each other is because of the completely different environments that they grew up in. The mother's faced sexism, racism, and the struggle to just simply survive. Often times, the things that they learned growing up became important symbols and lessons that they hoped to pass down to their children. But to the daughters who grew up in an environment where they tried to hide their roots as much as possible, and being Asian was "unfashionable", these messages only helped to widen the gap between mother and daughter. The book illustrates the journey that the mothers and daughters faced trying to understand the different cultures and perspectives of the Chinese and American way of thinking.

Chinese people prize filial piety above all other characteristics, and I remember often having to go to temples to pay my respects to my ancestors and that I could not talk back to my elders. In one of the stories, the Joy Luck Club is having a crab dinner. Since everyone immediately grabbed the largest and juiciest crabs, the hosts, Suyuan (mother), and Jing-mei (daughter), are left with the last two crabs. Jing-mei knows that one of the crabs was dead before they bought it, which is bad luck in Chinese culture, so she willingly grabs the dead crab so that her mother may enjoy the tastier crab. This is a very good example of filial piety, while everyone else is greedy, and hopes for the best for themselves, the daughter is being respectful by leaving the better crab for her mother. I specifically remembered this story from the book because I think that if I was in the same position as Jing-mei I would have taken the better crab for myself.

posted by 10680656 on January 6, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Slow Read

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan was a very slow read and I had a very difficult time getting into the story. What was interesting to me was that the women were so rude to one another although there were glimpses of kindness. These women lived in difficult times, indured ...
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan was a very slow read and I had a very difficult time getting into the story. What was interesting to me was that the women were so rude to one another although there were glimpses of kindness. These women lived in difficult times, indured injustice and yet they didn't support one another with graciousness. Amy Tan reveals the Chinese culture and the difficult transition from China to America. This story begs the question "How well do you really know your mother?"

posted by VirtuousWomanKF on July 20, 2011

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  • Posted July 20, 2011

    Slow Read

    The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan was a very slow read and I had a very difficult time getting into the story. What was interesting to me was that the women were so rude to one another although there were glimpses of kindness. These women lived in difficult times, indured injustice and yet they didn't support one another with graciousness. Amy Tan reveals the Chinese culture and the difficult transition from China to America. This story begs the question "How well do you really know your mother?"

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 23, 2014

    the movie is a spoiler

    the movie is a spoiler, and I couldn't even read the end of the book. I managed a few chapters and I found one in the end where a character's brother drowns and the mother is shaken. I stopped immediately due to the fact I lost my own daughter in such a manner. It hurts you as a parent you couldn't help your child in the last few moments of their life, and living with the should have could have is worse. I enjoyed this book as a sixteen year old. Who at the age of I know everything, I couldn't see this hurt my own mother, and I wasn't aware how naïve I was. Being a mother, and experiencing loss I don't disdain the book but it's not the romantic fiery book I once thought it was

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2013

    Barnes please check your blurb as it didnt maje sense anymore than the kiddies blobs

    Suggest that this over ten years ago book be borrowed. She is not to everyone's taste and the constant put down by mothers of their daughters may seem an unpleasant ethnic sterotype that continues. All is not happy families in the asian community.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2012

    Boring

    Boring and horrible

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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