Saturday, March 1, 2014

Shanghai Girls

Shanghai Girls
by Lisa See

Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis:  In 1937 Shanghai-the Paris of Asia-twenty-one-year-old Pearl Chin and her younger sister, May, are having the time of their lives.  Both are beautiful, modern, and carefree-until the day their father tells them that he has gambled away their wealth and that to repay his debts, he must sell the girls as wives to suitors who have traveled from Los Angeles to find Chinese brides.  As Japanese bombs fall on their beloved city, Pearl and May set out on the journey of a lifetime, from the Chinese countryside to the shores of America.  Though inseparable best friends, the sisters also harbor petty jealousies and rivalries.  Along the way they make terrible sacrifices, face impossible choices, and confront a devastating, life-changing secret, but through it all the two heroines of this astounding new novel hold fast to who they are-Shanghai girls.

Review:  The first book I read by Lisa See was Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.  I loved that book, the story was beautiful and it was well written.  I read Peony in Love next and it was good but not great but the writing was still beautiful but the story was a little odd.  This is my third book by Lisa See and I didn't love it, it was just OK.  I'm waiting for another book by Lisa See that makes me fall in love with her writing again and this one certainly did not.  It was captivating enough but there were moments in it that I just don't like reading about, there were unlikable characters and there were moments with Pearl and May that made me not like them.  I didn't feel emotionally connected to them at all even with the tragedies that they encountered throughout their journey.  I was very interested in Pearl and May's lives in Shanghai as I didn't know how modern the city was and how free women could be in the 1930s in China.  But the book got less interesting as Pearl and May arrived in Los Angeles to live with their husbands.  The book left you hanging at the end but I'm not sure I'm interested enough to read the next book in the series.

Rating: 3 stars

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