The Joy Luck Club consists of 4 women who traveled to America from China for a better life. Each mother had a daughter, and the book is told in the mother’s and daughter’s perspectives. Amy Tan explores the importance of story telling to show the readers the walls between cultures and the interaction and love between these women.
My teacher gave us an independent reading assignment where we could chose out of three Asian-American books. She not-so-subtly hinted we should read this one, so I took her advice. Plus, this cover. Look at this cover! The picture doesn’t do it justice. The gold is bright and embezzled and the red is a deep shade and the flower stands out in perfect contrast. Honestly, this book has already gone down on my list of favorite covers.
It’s not only one of my favorite covers. After finishing the book, I think it’ll have a spot on my list of favorite stand alones.
I loved the different perspectives. The writing style is completely unique. Yes, it got a little confusing at times because I couldn’t remember who was who, but once I flipped back I could figure it out. Instead of having one concrete plot-line, the book contained many different plots. It wasn’t just a different plot for each person, either. There were multiple stories to accompany each character. For the moms, it went from adulthood to maybe childhood then teenage years. Nothing went chronologically, but everything still made sense.
The whole book is very poetic. The stories glide together and Tan’s word choice is phenomenal. Even with the limited amount of dialogue, the reader falls in love with every character because of their stories.
In addition to reading the book, we had to create a poster based off of a big idea we pick. My poster looks amazing, by the way.
Anyway, I picked sacrifice. Both mothers and daughters have to give up something in order to have a better life for themselves or their families. Different motifs are seen throughout the book. Tan emphasizes the differences between the mothers and the daughters which is due to their opposite environments they grew up in. She stresses the importance of knowing one’s heritage through every story.
Despite the separate scenes and flashbacks, the novel still flowed together beautifully. It’s refreshing to read a book focusing on themes and writing style that’s also easy to understand.
As you can tell, I really love this book! The many perspectives, use of storytelling, and lack of dialogue is a complete change from the piles of young adult dystopias I’ve been reading. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the light and entertaining reads, but this book really makes you think about… everything. It isn’t sad, just realistic.