Monday, 14 July 2008

65. Amy Tan - The Joy Luck Club

The Joy Luck Club
Tan, Amy
Ivy Books
Paperback (Cleaning Challenge)
No. of pages:
First sentence:
The old woman remembered a swan she had bought many years ago in Shanghai for a foolish sum.

This book was sent to my by the very generous hetku77 as part of chirel's Cleaning Challenge. I had wishlisted it after reading a description/review of it.

This is the first Amy Tan I have read. I enjoyed her style of writing, finding it smooth and easy to speed along with although the plot is slow and simple rather than thrilling. The book gives us scenes from the lives of eight women - four Chinese mothers and their four American-Chinese daughters. Each scene is evocative and intricately depicted. I found myself sighing, wincing and getting frustrated along with the characters. My only criticism is that the different narratives didn't really have different voices so I had to keep checking to see whose story I was reading and whose family she fitted into. That said, I cannot think of how differentiation could have been achieved without falling into cliché.

The main theme of this book is mother-daughter relationships. I found many parallels to my own life even though I'm not Chinese.

I would recommend this book to women who enjoy family sagas, cross-culturalism and examining relationships. The cover is fairly attractive, showing a very Chinese design. I have at least one other Amy Tan book on Mt TBR and will look out for more in the future.


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