Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Joy Luck Club

by Amy Tan

I really enjoy these kinds of anecdotal stories woven into a novel connecting people. It's like an investigative way of getting to know the characters and how they relate to one another.

What else is there to say about this novel that hasn't already been said? It does make me think about the generations of women in my family and how much I really know, or don't know about them; the lives my mother and grandmothers lived before they got married and had children; whether I want to or would rather not know.

Tan has excellent pacing in this novel. She keeps the readers' attention with one character long enough to paint the necessary picture and plant a seed of understanding and relation. Each story maintains good momentum and provides a kind of moral or reveals a deeper meaning to the character's life and relationships. Every character's life is unique and vastly different from each other and distinctly interesting. I do wish there had been a little more talk of the actual Joy Luck Club and how these women and their families came together.

I don't know that the novel needed the mechanism of the journey to China and the discovery of the long-lost sisters. I could have done without that one piece.

But this is a great book. It may be a "girl book" because it is almost exclusively about women, but it is by no means "chick lit." It's definitely a book worth exploring.

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