This novel explores the clash between Chinese culture and American culture. It is divided into chapters narrated by 8 different characters—four mothers who moved here from China and each of their daughters, who are fully rooted in an American life. The chapters are labeled with a title and the name of the narrator. It is pretty easy to tell the difference between the mothers’ and daughters’ voices, but it is useful to have them up front:
The Joy Luck Club is set in two places: China in the 1930s and 1940s and San Francisco's Chinatown from the 1960s through the 1980s. During the late 1930s and early 1940s (the mothers’ stories), China was embroiled in a war with Japan after Japan invaded China in 1931.
Concubine-in Imperial China, a woman contracted to a man as a secondary wife, often having few legal rights and low social status