[RGC 145.] The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

[read: so many strong independent Asian-American women]


Warning: I aggressively love this book. I first read it during my last year of high school on recommendation from Tiffany, who is Chinese-American. The stories in this book, Amy Tan’s first and {in my opinion} most wonderful book, revolve around four mothers and daughters living in San Francisco. The mothers gather to play mahjong and feast until June’s mother, who sat in the chair facing the East, passes away and June takes her seat at the table. In doing so, June learns about her mother and her secrets to trace her way back to China to meet half-sisters she never knew existed.

Emotions run high when these mothers and daughters interact. I realized I learned more about the culture than I knew I was missing and I think that’s why this is Tan’s most widely-read book; it accessibly introduced concepts about Chinese culture in America for the average reader. I really treasured that and it opened up discussion with Tiffany about her experiences, something I had never thought of doing. That Christmas, I gifted her Tan’s second book because she loved The Joy Luck Club so much and I wanted to read it after she was done (speaking of which, can I borrow that?) about three years ago.

It is simply incredible, poignant, and a quick read from which each reader can take away far-reaching conclusions. I recently reread it for one of my classes and didn’t realize how closely I held this book to my own education, let alone my relationship with one of my best friends. I really do love it and I thank Tan for writing this for all to read.

10 out of 10 would recommend.

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