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All booksLiterary fictionThe Joy Luck Club
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Literary fiction

The Joy Luck Club

by Amy Tan

Quick take

Their lives are vastly different and yet interconnected in numerous ways that Tan recounts with equal parts anger and empathy.

Why I love it

Book of the Month

Amy Tan’s extraordinary 1989 novel explores the divide between Chinese immigrants to the US and their children, first generation Americans being raised in San Francisco. Over games of mah jong and close-knit conversations, The Joy Luck Club delves into the backstories of four mothers and their four daughters. Their lives, especially their childhoods, are vastly different and yet interconnected in numerous ways that Tan recounts with equal parts anger and empathy.

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Member thoughts

All (225)
All (225)
Love (132)
Like (84)
Dislike (9)
234 ratings
  • 56% Love
  • 36% Like
  • 4% Dislike
  • Beavercreek, OH

    I watched the movie first and absolutely loved it. Unfortunately reading the book a year later didn’t satisfy me quite like the movie did. Giving it a love rate anyway because it’s still amazing story

  • Gillette, WY

    WOW. This book really got me thinking about the unknown histories of my own parents' lives, and their parents'. It illustrates that we don't always know the whole story, even with those close to us.

  • Washington , DC

    Reading this book is akin to living an entire lifetime 8 times over. Regardless of how many times it’s reread, it remains a gem. Rather than explain why, grab this book if you haven’t already!

  • Aliso Viejo, CA

    I reread this book and absolutely loved it! The first time I read it, I was in middle school. This time around I felt that I connected with the story more and really appreciated Amy Tan’s writing

  • Washington , DC

    A powerful story about the divide between immigrant parents and the American born children. Beautiful portrayal of mother daughter relationships. But multiple storylines make it confusing at times.

  • Lynbrook, NY

    This book will forever be part of my reading library to pass down to my girls. The complexities of the characters and the lives they led kept the book in my hands. I never wanted to put it down!

  • Red Bank, TN

    I liked that this book offered a peek into the Chinese and Chinese-American perspective on culture and life. I was engaged by the way the story was told from different angles and backgrounds.

  • San Francisco, CA

    A story of mothers and daughters, immigrants and their first generation children. As a daughter and first generation immigrant, I found Tan's words to be both heartwarming and gut-wrenching.


    I'm so glad I read this book. We all live our lives as if no one else has lived before us but this novel makes you think about the many connections we have and how we all want to be loved.

  • Greenbrier, TN

    A book about trying to find your place in the world and helping the next generation find theirs. Through it all, we're the same. And in the end, all we want is to be loved and understood.

  • Whittier, CA

    First time I’ve read this. Haven’t seen all the movie too. I loved this book and now am looking forward to watching the movie. I even got teary-eyed at some parts. Real good!

  • Thornton, PA

    I openly wept while reading this book. It was like coming home to my own identity, community, and story. The Joy Luck Club will stay with me forever, and I’m better for it.

  • Poteet, TX

    This is one of the best books ive ever read. Thank you to my highschool teacher for giving me his book to keep when i graduated. I plan on gifting this book to him.

  • Cumberland, RI

    Tan has created a book where the reader can fall into a different place, a different time, a different life. This will forever be one of my favorite books.

  • Lake Forest, CA

    Where was this book in my youth? This novel beautifully captures the Asian immigrant experience. Each mother-daughter relationship felt painfully real.

  • Riverside, CA

    I used to watch the movie with my Mom all the time. No surprise, the book is even better. It was painful and beautiful, well worth the read.

  • Bayside, NY

    As a first gen in US, all these experiences relate. It’s a beautiful account of Asian immigrant and their children experience in the US

  • Detroit , MI

    Enjoyed learning the different perspectives between mother, daughter and what it means to be family. A good easy read.

  • Ignacio, CO

    A strong and positive novel about culture, history and the present as we see it in life. One of the best I have read!

  • Roanoke, VA

    I honestly cannot believe that it took me until now to read this novel. And all I have to say is that it is fantastic.

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