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The Joy Luck Club | Part Summaries

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Timeline of Events

  • 1918

    Ying-ying St. Clair falls into the lake at the Moon Festival and is separated from her family.

    Part 1, Chapter 4
  • 1920

    Lindo Jong, two, is betrothed to Tyan-yu, the son of the wealthy Huang family.

    Part 1, Chapter 3
  • c. 1923

    An-mei Hsu's mother commits suicide to give An-mei and her half-brother a better life.

    Part 4, Chapter 1
  • 1932

    Ying-ying's first husband abandons her; she aborts their unborn child as revenge.

    Part 4, Chapter 2
  • c. 1934

    Lindo weds Huang Tyan-yu; months later she successfully escapes the marriage.

    Part 1, Chapter 3
  • 1944

    Suyuan Woo flees Kweilin with her twin daughters, then must abandon them when she becomes ill.

    Part 4, Chapter 4
  • 1946

    Upon hearing the news of her first husband's death, Ying-ying agrees to marry Clifford St. Clair.

    Part 4, Chapter 2
  • c. 1946

    Lindo is introduced to Tin Jong by An-mei; they marry months later.

    Part 4, Chapter 3
  • 1949

    Suyuan and her second husband, Canning, move to the United States.

    Part 1, Chapter 1
  • 1960

    Ying-ying has a miscarriage and falls into a deep depression.

    Part 2, Chapter 2
  • 1960

    Nine-year-old Waverly Jong becomes a national chess champion.

    Part 2, Chapter 1
  • c. 1965

    An-mei's four-year-old son Bing drowns in the ocean under 14-year-old Rose's watch.

    Part 2, Chapter 3
  • c. 1987

    Waverly is afraid to tell Lindo she is engaged to Rich Schields.

    Part 3, Chapter 2
  • c. 1987

    Ted Jordan files for divorce from Rose.

    Part 2, Chapter 3
  • c. 1987

    Suyuan dies.

    Part 1, Chapter 1
  • Two months later

    Jing-mei joins the Joy Luck Club and learns her half-sisters in China have been found.

    Part 1, Chapter 1
  • Months later

    Jing-mei and Canning go to China to meet Jing-mei's half-sisters.

    Part 4, Chapter 4

Part Summaries Chart

Part Summary
Part 1, Prologue The prologues at the beginning of each section of The Joy Luck Club are all parables, or simple stories used to illustra... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 1 Jing-mei Woo, 36, attends her first meeting of the Joy Luck Club, a group of her parents' friends who gather regularly t... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 2 Nine-year-old An-mei lives with her grandmother, Popo, and her brother at her aunt and uncle's house. She is told her mo... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 3 Lindo Jong is betrothed to Huang Tyan-yu, a spoiled boy from a wealthy family, when she is only two years old. Ten years... Read More
Part 1, Chapter 4 Ying-ying St. Clair remembers herself as a boisterous child. As she became a grown woman, however, she learned to keep "... Read More
Part 2, Prologue The parable introducing the second part of The Joy Luck Club is about a little girl whose mother warns her not to ride h... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 1 Waverly is the youngest of the three Jong children and the only girl. When she is seven her older brother Vincent receiv... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 2 Lena St. Clair spends most of her childhood in fear of the unknown. What's really lurking in the pitch-black basement? W... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 3 Rose Hsu Jordan is getting a divorce. Her soon-to-be-ex-husband, Ted, used to make all the decisions for the couple, but... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 4 Jing-mei Woo's mother, Suyuan, insists she can be a child prodigy just like Waverly Jong, who is a national chess champi... Read More
Part 3, Prologue A daughter gives her mother a tour of her new home, and the mother is alarmed to see a mirror at the foot of the bed. Sh... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 1 Lena St. Clair is on edge during her mother's week-long stay at Lena's overpriced, underdesigned Woodside home. Ying-yin... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 2 Waverly Jong is terrified to tell her mother she is marrying Rich Schields, a younger man with whom she works. This will... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 3 Depending on who she's talking to, Rose Hsu Jordan vacillates between anger, sorrow, and relief about her impending divo... Read More
Part 3, Chapter 4 Suyuan hosts a dinner for her own family and the Jongs. She buys enough crabs for the adults in the group, and the fishm... Read More
Part 4, Prologue A grandmother talks to her baby granddaughter, who is gurgling and laughing. The woman says she was once just as innocen... Read More
Part 4, Chapter 1 Nine-year-old An-mei leaves her aunt and uncle's house with her mother to live with her in Tientsin, where she is the th... Read More
Part 4, Chapter 2 Ying-ying St. Clair was born in the Year of the Tiger, as was her daughter, Lena. According to Ying-ying the "gold side"... Read More
Part 4, Chapter 3 Lindo Jong faults herself for her daughter's decidedly un-Chinese ways. She "wanted my children to have the best combina... Read More
Part 4, Chapter 4 Jing-mei Woo and her father, Canning Woo, are on their way to Guangzhou, China, to visit Canning's family before flying ... Read More
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