Amy Tan is releasing a new book this October titled, Where the Past Begins, so why not read or revisit one of her most famous works, The Joy Luck Club? It’s a book you won’t want to put down. Discovering the mystery of the club and its founders is not only thrilling, but will leave you entertained and rewarded.

Publisher’s summary:

In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club.

With wit and sensitivity, Amy Tan examines the sometimes painful, often tender, and always deep connection between these four women and their American-born daughters. As each reveals her secrets, trying to unravel the truth about her life, the strings become more tangled, more entwined.                                                                                                                                   

Tan brilliantly weaves the stories of four mothers and four daughters together, allowing every side to be examined and understood. This is especially important because of the cultural and generational differences even between family members. Miscommunication and the mothers’ limited English and the daughters’ limited Chinese complicates the relationships even further.

The Joy Luck Club is steeped with rich traditions, both old and new.  These traditions and cultural identities are often questioned for both mothers, especially since the daughters often feel more at home in modern, American society rather than their family’s Chinese heritage. One of the daughters, Lena St. Clair can feel especially caught between the two worlds because her father is an American.

Part of the novel is both the mothers and the daughters discovering their connections, uncovering the mysteries of each other’s lives, and weaving the strands of their stories back together again.

While it is a novel shrouded in losses, of family and friends left behind in China, of untold stories, and of abandoned traditions, ultimately what emerges from the loss is new friendships, new traditions, retellings of stories both old and new, and a greater bond and understanding between the older and younger generation.

If you want to read The Joy Luck Club, check it out from our book display on diversity in the café area of the library. While you’re at it, check out the rest of our books on display!

Also check out Tan’s new book Where the Past Begins on October 17th!

Eleka S.

Also available by Amy Tan:

The Valley of Amazement

The Bonesetter’s Daughter

The Hundred Secret Senses

Saving Fish from Drowning


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