books

The Joy Luck Club

Hello there! It’s been a while, but I was waiting to read the perfect book to write a new entry… and finally that book was read! I just finished reading “The Joy Luck Club” written by Amy Tan, an American writer born to Chinese parents.

I was supposed to read this book in High School, for summer break, I think, but as it seldom happens I never really got to it, but I really do wish I would’ve read it before!

This book is about the relationship between 4 Chinese mothers and their 4 American daughters, and how this beautiful but complex relationship can affect both sides.

As a daughter I experience only what my mother is as a mother, and as children I think that we often forget that our parents were something before being mothers and fathers. We hold grudges, we are irritated by everything our mothers say sometimes, we are selfish, we only look at our own life and our own experience, forgetting that parents are first of all people, women and men, and not just parents. We are so absorbed by our own lives and becoming who we are that we don’t realize that moms and dads are like us, with desires, hopes and even disappointments, and most of all that all these feelings aren’t always about us children. In this beautiful book Amy Tan gives a voice to all mothers, shows us their sides, and portrays them as young women and old women that have worries that don’t concern only their children.

I think that our relationship with our parents is very selfish, because we always assume we are the most important thing to them, and that we should take all their mental and physical space, constantly, because they were made to take care of us, but that is not so, and I think that Amy Tan really gets that and tries to explain it.

Since we are born to when we are grown up, we assume that our parents were born to be our parents, or that they are just parents, that there was nothing in their lives before us, because all we know about them is their life as our parents, when in reality they’ve all had experiences and had to endure situations that probably we will never know about, unless they open up with us, and this fact is exaggerated in The Joy Luck Club, because all the mothers had rich histories and lived unimaginable things, that their daughters couldn’t even believe, because mothers try their best to protect their children from horrible things and from pain, and strive to give us a better life than they had, and that’s what happens in this novel. All the daughters are lucky women, have careers, have their problems, but never had to endure what their mothers had to.

In the novel there is a moment in which one of the daughters says that she wouldn’t know what to say about her mother, and she feels like she doesn’t know her, and I often think that’s what I think about my mom. I know what I’ve experienced of her, I know what she sometimes tells me about her youth and her young womanhood, but I don’t know her like a know a friend: I know her like someone invincible that would do anything for me, and I often forget that she is a woman like me, that has an inner life and thoughts and that is smart and that is a separate person from me, and not an extension of me, actually it’s the contrary, because I’m an extension of her.

I recommend this novel to everybody, because it is beautiful and it is one of those books that really stays with you and that when you are done with it you feel empty.

Thank you Amy Tan for creating something so beautiful.

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