Thursday, July 7, 2011

Recently Read...Shanghai Girls



I didn't read this when it was first published, and it's probably a good thing since most of the reviews I've read are really critical of the abrupt ending. I saw the sequal, Dreams of Joy, and wanted to read it, so decided to read Shanghai Girls first...
And even though Val told me she threw it in the garbage when she finished...I quite enjoyed it...first as a very compelling story of the two sisters, Pearl and May. Second as a great way to learn about a period of history I knew little about..pre WW2 China and the US. Third as a look into a very different culture...and the Chinese/American experience in California. Learning about the anti-Communist movement of the 50's and the "Confession Program" was both appalling and fascinating.
Another criticism of the book is that it is unrealistically dramatic towards the end(although it's pretty dramatic in the middle too!). But I think Lisa See was trying to share a lot of the experiences she knew from her own Chinese American family and combined them all in the characters of Pearl and May...
I would definitly recommend reading it if you are interested in historical fiction. She also has some sweet insights into the bond of sisterhood.
So now I'm reading Dreams of Joy...

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