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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.