Tan, Amy "The Joy Luck Club" - 1989
Four Chinese daughters growing up in New York. Four Chinese mothers playing Mah Jong. Eight different women with eight different stories, views, lives. The daughters tyring to understand the past, the mothers tyring to understand the American life their daughters lead.
This novel shows how difficult a life in a different culture can be. This was one of the first books our international group discussed. I quite liked it. A story of friendship, mother-daughter-relationships, internationalism, different cultures. You can tell the author knows a lot about this, since she is a Chinese daughter who grew up in America. She said her parents wanted their children "to have American circumstances and Chinese character."
From the back cover: "In 1949 four Chinese women-drawn together by the shadow of their past-begin meeting in San Francisco to play mah jong, invest in stocks, eat dim sum, and "say" stories. They call their gathering the Joy Luck Club.
Nearly 40 years later, one of the members had died, and her daughter has come to take her place, only to learn of her mother's lifelong wish-and the tragic way in which it has come true. The revelation of this secret unleashes an urgent need among the women to reach back and remember..."
We discussed this in our book club in March 2002.