Amy Tan weaves together the stories of Chinese-American daughters and their mothers in The Joy Luck Club. The stories are deeply emotional and address the complexities of mother-daughter relationships. I found myself putting down the novel to call my own mother and just listen to her. It is funny how much we miss by focusing on ourselves instead of the people in our lives.

The stories of the mothers are extremely painful to read as they experienced horrors that I cannot imagine. As a mother, the stories of the mothers losing their children were difficult for me to read. I can’t imagine choosing to leave your babies and the life-long pain that must result from such a loss. The mothers seemed to suffer not only from their difficult pasts but from the lack of relationship with their daughters. Culture and age stood between the mothers and their daughters. The wall that separated them was self-constructed but in the end it left both sides feeling alone.

I enjoyed sipping some Green Tea sweetened with honey while reading. My Father-in-law bought me the Green Tea while he was in China and I enjoyed the authentic connection. It is easy to connect a book with tea, but connections with family are more difficult. The Joy Luck Club made me focus on wanting to create an authentic relationship with those I love.

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