Four mothers, four daughters, two countries, and a vast culture gap. The Joy Luck Club tells the story of four Chinese women who immigrated to the United States and made a life for themselves in the foreign country. The women all had daughters in America who grew up trying to reject the Chinese customs that their mothers forced upon them. Over the years, the cultural confusion between the mothers and daughters becomes a conflict between generations.
Through tales of hardship, deceit, love, and death, the stories of each of the four mothers as children and young women in China are told. While one mother had to abandon two of her children after her town was bombed, another had to escape from an arranged marriage, an impossible feat in her culture. To go along with these recollections, the daughters flash back to moments throughout their lives that help to elucidate the relationships that they have developed with their mothers. Amy Tan’s writing style of a shifting perspective coupled with all of the interesting Chinese metaphors that she throws in creates an engaging novel.
Review by Emma, teen blogger