The sisters have married into a family that is mentally still living the Chinese lifestyle. Pearl and May try their best to adapt but it is not easy at all. How the two sisters deal with all this adversity just shows their strengths even though they were very young women at the time. The relationship between the sisters is what sustains them until the very end when a well kept secret becomes known. Pearl and May persevere and do what is right for them overcoming unspoken feelings of resentment from childhood.Lisa See is perfect at producing a story that grabs the reader at every turn of the page although one of the events in the end seemed out of character. The descriptions put the reader right into the scene. Some of the best parts of the book are the historical facts woven into the story. The plight of Chinese immigrants is fully explored and gives great depth to the storyline. The book ended quite abruptly as though there is either a sequel planned or the reader is just left hanging. Even so, overall the story was a very easy and enjoyable read. My criteria for a rating is always how easily I can put the book down and how quickly I want to get back to it. This is a very good story, it grabbed my attention right away but towards the last third I found I could put the book down quite easily. I didn't feel the need to put life on hold and rush back to see what happened. That to me makes the book a 3.5 ***
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Review: Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
In her latest novel, Lisa See takes the reader to Shanghai where we are introduced to Pearl and May Chin, two sisters who enjoy the "beautiful girl" lifestyle. Every day is devoted to posing for painters, shopping and socializing. All this comes to an abrupt halt when the sisters learn that their father has sold them to strangers from Los Angeles to cover his gambling debts. The two sisters did not want to go to America until the Japanese began to bomb the city of Shanghai. Through much hardship the girls finally make their way to Los Angeles and begin their lives as wives of two brothers.