Monday, 17 November 2014

The Joy Luck Club
by Amy Tan
Rating:  3/5


Pages: 352
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 9780749399573

Summary (via Goodreads)

In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, meet weekly to play mahjong and tell stories of what they left behind in China. United in loss and new hope for their daughters' futures, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. Their daughters, who have never heard these stories, think their mothers' advice is irrelevant to their modern American lives - until their own inner crises reveal how much they've unknowingly inherited of their mothers' pasts.


I have never read one of Amy Tan's books previously and therefore was excited as to what kind of writer she would be. I wasn't disappointed. The Joy Luck Club tells the story of four women and their daughters and the lives and secrets and misunderstandings that naturally occur throughout domestic life.

Ever heard the saying "Mother knows best"? Well this book redefines that. Suyuan Woo is a women pulled down by the weight of her secrets, secrets that she wants to tell her daughter but is worried about doing would her daughter react? However it is only when it is too late that the truth surfaces and June Woo is faced with a dilemma - should she go back to China, her mother's homeland and accomplish what her mother was never able to?

Overall the book is dedicated to motherly love and the hardships that Chinese mothers, and no doubt many others, faced after WW2 in terms of teaching their modern, rebellious daughters life lessons.

I have to admit, at points I did get a bit confused over which storyline was which character, but I think that was more my error than the books and it didn't last long. In general I enjoyed reading this book and have already purchased more from Amy Tan to sample more of her writing. The characters, despite being of a different time and cultural background to myself, I felt I was able to sympathise with, something that further submerged me into the book. Of all the characters, June is my favourite and I almost wish that there was more about her in the book, maybe even a sequel to continue the story from where it finished in the book.

Overall verdict....enjoyable, relatable, fun and loveable.


  1. Great review!

    I actually bought this book a couple of weeks ago - I saw it in a used book shop and vaguely remembered seeing positive reviews on Goodreads! I haven't picked it up since then, other books have grabbed my attention, but your review has made me want to read it sooner! :-)

    1. Hi Sarsh, sorry it's taken me a while to respond. Thank you for your comment =) hope you get a chance to read it, you'll have to let me know what you think afterwards. I'd love to know =)