The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan explores the importance of cultural identity as it changes between the generations. The story follows the intertwining paths of eight women as they discover their values and identities. Four mothers attempt to come to terms with their daughters’ disregard of tradition as their stories of hardship and loss on their journeys from China to San Francisco are told. Their American-born daughters struggle to overcome generational differences to understand their mothers’ wishes and discover what it means to be Chinese-American.
By reading this book, I gained insight into both Chinese culture and a different perspective of America. As a white American, I was able to gain a new awareness for the identity conflicts that immigrants face. I loved reading a book that was set in a culture different than my own. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to connect with the characters they read. I was drawn in by the emotions of each personal narrative and fascinated by how the characters’ stories connected. The one drawback of this book was that I found it difficult to keep track of the narrators, as they switched each chapter.