The Joy Luck Club

Portada d’una edició del llibreIn 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk about their lives. Forty years later the stories and history continue.
After her mother Suyuan’s death, thirty-six year old Jing-mei (June) Woo takes her place in The Joy Luck Club with An-mei Hsu, Lindo Jong, and Ying-ying St. Clair. Each mother/daughter relationship is full of sadness, anger, misunderstanding and joy. June, for example, isn’t sure she can replace a dead mother she hardly knew. Then she learns that her mother’s other daughters have been found: they live in China, and the other women of the Joy Luck Club are sending June to meet them.

The book mixes narratives from the past in China with ongoing narratives taking place in the present-day United States in a complex structure which gradually reveals more about the motivations of the characters. The novel ends with June´s journey to China, where she fulfils her mother´s most precious wish.


Questions to think about while reading…

The novel raises questions about parenting (especially mothering) in different cultures.
Does the novel challenge our ideas about good and bad mothers? How do our perceptions of the mothers in the novel change as the novel develops?

Why do you think that you are missing something you never had?. To what extent is this question crucial to the whole book? Can we miss what we have never had?

Are the characters in the book all Chinese – American? How do they define themselves? Do we find or make our personal identities?

Claire Reed.
Club de lectura en Anglès.