The Joy Luck Club
by Amy Tan
reviewed by Lizie Li
Four women gathered together in the Joy Luck Club, a place they played mahjong and had parties. They were the early immigrants of China who were living in the US. Day by day, when their hair turned white, they could not fight for their lives and fates any more. However, they could never forget their legendary stories, which originally came from China—an ancient nation, their home, and the place where their souls rested. The author Amy Tan tells an eastern story by using western language in the book, The Joy Luck Club.
Amy points out the problems happens between generations, four mothers and their daughters who could hardly understand each other at some points. The four daughters were reluctant to communicate with their moms because they not only spoke a different language, but also had a somewhat different point of view towards things. Distinguishing from their moms who were always stuck in the past and deeply believed superstitions, the four daughters were growing up in a free place. Meanwhile, due to the gap between western and eastern cultures, they sometimes thought how their moms did and what they said were ridiculous.
For these four moms, they treated others with wisdom, but themselves with pain. They were those who only lived in their own worlds, unwilling to get out to see the outside. In the novel, Amy highlights the characteristics of these powerful women by lessening the importance of men. She emphasizes the bravery and strength of the old generation, and the independence of young generation.
The Joy Luck Club seems like an “eastern film” showing to western people. Two slightly different cultures were bumped and mixed. Washington Post Book World praised this book as “powerful as myth”. Indeed, this beautifully written book changes the way we understand the world. The charm of life is to combine two contrary things together and see what will happen next. It is worth being your next SSR book and I am sure you will love it!