Four mothers, four daughters, four families whose histories shift with the four winds depending on who is telling the story. In 1949 four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared unspeakable loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. Rather than sink into tragedy, they choose to gather to raise their spirits and money. Nearly forty years later, one of the members has died, and her daughter has come to take her place, only to learn of her mother's lifelong wish and the tragic way in which it has come true. The revelation of this secret unleashes an urgent need among the women to reach back and remember.