The Joy Luck Club Read-Along: Week 3 Recap

Joy

Welcome to the 3rd weekly recap of The Joy Luck Club read-along!  Below is the schedule.  Each Saturday I’ll post a recap (with clearly marked spoilers for those who get a little behind).  The final review of the book will be on Saturday, October 24th.

This week, we read three chapters, each about one of the daughters.  I think I should have looked a little more closely at the way the book is organized before I wrote up the schedule since the four daughters’ chapters are split up between this week and next.  Oh well.  Once again, I found myself marking quite a few pages that I felt were key to understanding these women’s lives.  It’s interesting to get the daughters’ perspectives.

[Spoilers] This week’s chapters weren’t nearly as emotionally devastating as the last two weeks, except for “Half and Half”.  Guilt over the death of her younger brother, Bing, is a heavy burden to carry around, and I can see how it could eventually lead to Rose not making any decisions.  Her mother’s loss of faith was what got me, though, and I think it shows the difference in how the Chinese view religious worship.  What hit me so hard was An-mei’s lack of anger or feeling betrayed.  It was as if, even though she never really accepted her son’s death, she resigned herself to the idea of beings beyond her control or power deciding not to give him back.  “The Voice from the Wall” was disturbing, though, and I’m still not sure I know what happened to Ying-ying, Lena St. Clair’s mom.  What I do know is that if my mom had told me what she tells Lena about the basement, I would have had nightmares too!  I was happy for Waverly Jong and the empowerment she discovered through learning, and then excelling at, the game of chess.  I loved how part of her learning came from books she checked out from the local library.  I also appreciate that her desire to learn was spurred on and encouraged by her mom, Lindo.  If you remember from last week, Lindo was the one who cleverly figured a way out of her marriage without bringing shame to herself or her family.  I have a lot of respect for her, and I’m beginning to understand some of the comments she made towards her daughter, even though I still disagree with her some of her parenting.  [End Spoilers]

What do you think of the story so far?  Comment away!  Just be sure to mark clearly any spoilers 🙂