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I won't comment on the condition of the book itself because that's not the purpose of product reviews. I'm here to write a review on the contents of the book itself.
I've come across numerous literature notes series and I must say, CliffsNotes are one of the best around. What I liked about CliffsNotes is that they are written by actual teachers who has knowledge and teaching experience of the subject content. They often provide insightful, in depth analysis into the works behind all that flowery language. This title on Joy Luck Club is no different. Among other things I like about this product is that this is written from a Westerner's perspective. From where I come from, the ideas and way of thinking always get stuck and going round in circles: regurgitated and recycled views. These series like CliffsNotes provides a much more thoughtful and refreshing insight into these literary works, which sometimes really helps us to look closer at things that the mindset and views from my own community would not have noticed it earlier. I'm using this for my tertiary studies, cuz this isn't officially sold in my country (importing this directly from Amazon is near 50% cheaper than the ones sold in some bookstores here. [laughs] ironic) I'm not here to say that all CliffsNotes titles for every literary work is good. So happen that the ones I've used, including this title, by CliffsNotes are among the best I've used so far. For teachers in high schools, get this for your students. These are a whole lot more better than the ones authored and published locally.
The four winds may change direction, and histories may shift at any given moment, but Amy Tan's, `The Joy Luck Club' remains a captivating tale about four mothers and their four daughters. The Chinese game Mah-jong works to join the mother's together as they form the club and share the secrets and tragedies of their lives as well as their hopes and dreams for their daughters. The women in this novel struggle to bestow their daughters with the virtues of Chinese traditions and at points seem to go too far-pitting their daughters against each other and sadly living their lives through them. Tan writes both honestly and sensitively examining the generation gap between mothers and their daughters as well as the struggles migrants face when joining other countries. `The Joy Luck Club' belongs to a genre which can only be described as realistic with characters which are both three dimensional and relatable. The story is written through defined chapters-each dedicated to either a mother or a daughter; as they weave their histories and spin their stories. The novel, through this chapter fragmentation allows each character to develop, with an emphasis on the main narrative- the death of one of the members of the club. The death of Suyuan Woo results in the incorporation of her daughter Jung Mei `June' Woo into the group. June realises her mother- who died suddenly of a cerebral aneurysm - had unfinished business which leads June to face one of the biggest tragedies in her mother's life. `The Joy Luck Club' is an inspiring novel which is moving both moving and courageous-a definite pleasure to read.
Although the book was somewhat confusing to follow, the excellent stories and the manner in which they were told were very real. I really enjoyed relating to each character because I too am a minority woman and I know how important it is to hold on to tradition, yet learn new ways of living. I recommend this book to any woman who is curious about the Chinese-American woman.