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Four mothers, four daughters, four families whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who's "saying" the stories. In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared unspeakable loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. Rather than sink into tragedy, they choose to gather to raise their spirits and money. "To despair was to wish back for something already lost. Or to prolong what was already unbearable." Forty years later the stories and history continue.
With wit and sensitivity, Amy Tan examines the sometimes painful, often tender, and always deep connection between mothers and daughters. As each woman reveals her secrets, trying to unravel the truth about her life, the strings become more tangled, more entwined. Mothers boast or despair over daughters, and daughters roll their eyes even as they feel the inextricable tightening of their matriarchal ties. Tan is an astute storyteller, enticing readers to immerse themselves into these lives of complexity and mystery.
One of the things that was the most appealing to me while dealing with postmodernism was the diversity in it. Recently I have hear a lot of bloggers speaking as we don't get enough diversity in YA and it's a fact, we don't. But The Joy Luck Club is perfect example of how to embody that diversity into somewhat known environment. This is a story about four mothers who all came to USA from China and about their daughters who are cough in between cultures, age and continents. With that their struggle to do what we all tend to do - fit in. But some boundaries are hard to overcome and it's shown here how in attempt to become something else you lose yourself.
What fascinated me the most here is how realistic every image was. What's most both Chinese and American culture are equality far away from me, still I could connect with book (I still strongly believe that mother was Chinese in her past life, as the silent treatment from the book reminded me of her and my rebellious moments). Speaking of words it's magical how this book successfully combines folk tales with real life. Another thing that fascinated me is that this book is one of the best examples of "show, don't tell rule". A lot of it is told here, but the number of things that are shown is much greater.
In order to persuade you to read it, I'll tell you that this book consist of stories and each of them can function on its own, but it also is just one puzzle of the whole story. Still you can read one story at the time and learn from each something new. Finally, when you get to the end you will have the whole picture with all the details. Still if you don't have time for all of them, one is enough to make you wonder.
Rating: 5 stars.
Until the next time,