The Joy Luck Club – Not much joy, little luck

One of my classes requires me to read The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.  My first thought after reading it – Ugh, this is boring.

The Joy Luck Club is a story of four mothers and their four daughters.  The mothers were all born in China but moved to San Francisco.  They hope their daughters will have a better life in America and want to raise them with American options but Chinese heritage.  My main problem with this book is that each chapter is from a different person’s perspective, which is not necessarily a bad thing.  In this book however, it causes the flow to be choppy and it takes a long time to get to know and understand the characters.

As a whole, the stories are all interesting but it feels as though you are reading a different book each time a new chapter is started.  Sometimes the details are unbearably mundane and made me lose interest quickly.  The main plot is the mothers expectations of their daughters and the daughters feeling as though they will never live up to those expectations. One story is a bit different since the mother has died and her story is told from her daughter’s perspective.

I think if the book would have concentrated on one mother/daughter storyline it would have been a much more compelling read.   As it stand, this book is one that I could have lived without reading.


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