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 The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

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Registration date : 2008-12-02

PostSubject: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan   Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:39 pm

I just noticed that I never actually wrote a review on my all-time favourite novel, "The Joy Luck Club" by Amy Tan. I am literally obsessed by this novel - I mean, I reread parts of it practically every week, the audiobook runs nonstop in my car, I know large parts of it by heart Smile

So, what do I love so much about this novel? Here's the story, and I'll try to make it clear, because the structure is very complicated:

There are eight women, four pairs of mother and daughter. All mothers come from China, but raised the daughters in America. The focus lies on Jing-Mei (June) Woo and her mother Su-Yuen, who has died recently. Of all the daughters portrayed in the novel, Jing-Mei is closest to her Chinese heritage. She forms the link between the mothers and daughters, who all have trouble communicating with each other because of their different cultural codes.

Around this central story, the novel deals with the background of the Chinese mothers and their American daughters, each woman telling her own story in first person. All of them are trying to bridge the gap between Chinese customs and American everyday life. There is no resolution to the conflict. By the end of the novel, some of the daughters have only just begun to understand their mothers (and vice versa).

The characters' lives are connected through the so-called Joy Luck Club, an invention of Su-Yuen, who founded it during the war in China.

I love the way in which Tan portrays each woman. We see each woman through her own eyes and through the eyes of others. If we believe June, her "friend" Waverley is a stuck-up, posh nightmare. But as soon as we are addressed by Waverley herself, things begin to change. We see why Waverley is the way that she is. It is the same with the other characters.

I have never read a novel which has touched me so much, and which has fascinated me over the course of almost five years by now. I would recommend it to everyone, but especially to people who are bicultural themselves or who like China.

Oh, and by the way: The movie version is the best adaptation of a novel I've ever seen. I love you

If history is doomed to repeat itself, bring on the beheadings.
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PostSubject: Re: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan   Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:22 pm

Just picked this up. Thanks for the recommendation!
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