Monday, December 31, 2012

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

I picked up Shanghai Girls because I enjoyed Snow Flower and The Secret Fan so much. Sadly I didn't enjoy Shanghai Girls as much.
The story is about two sisters, Pearl and May. At the beginning of the book they are beautiful girls in Shanghai. In their late teens, the two girls go out and pose for artists who make calendars and advertisements. Pearl and May are happy. They go out, drink with their friends, and wear pretty clothes. Their parents are middle class and provide the girls with good food and a nice home to live in. One day all the changes, their father loses all his money and business and sells the girls to another family for them to become the wives of two Chinese men who live in Los Angeles.
I just didn't connect with Pearl and May. I spent most of the time shocked that I know so little about China's history. I didn't know anything about the events that May and Pearl were living through. I guess I was so horrified by my ignorance and the events that were happening that I couldn't connect with May and Pearl. I certainly did learn a lot and found myself looking up these events.
Overall I would recommend Snow Flower and The Secret fan since I found it to be a stronger book but Shanghai Girls was good. Especially if you already know a lot about China's history in the late 1930's and 1940's and won't get caught up in the history. I will eventually read Dreams of Joy, the continuation of May and Pearl's story because I was unsatisfied with the ending of Shanghai Girls. Others who shared their thoughts on Shanghai Girls: Broke And The Bookish, Confessions of A Book Addict, Book Journey, Devourer of Books, Impressions In Ink, and She Is Too Fond Of Books.


  1. I do not like an unsatisfying ending :/

    Happy new year :D

  2. I've always wanted to try this author but haven't found the time yet. Maybe I should start with her other book :) Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts on this one!

  3. I agree. I loved "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" and "Peonies in Love,' but wasn't totally thrilled with this book. It's been awhile and I seem to remember enjoying it, but not loving it. I bought the follow-up, but haven't been able to get into it yet.

  4. I really liked this one a lot. Isn't there one after this one??? I haven't read it but not sure if I will or not though normally I have enjoyed all of her books.

  5. I really liked this one! It was actually the first I'd ever read by Lisa See, and knowing that wonder if I would have liked it less if I read the two books of hers I've read in the opposite order. I haven't read Dreams of Joy yet, but it's definitely one I want to pick up.


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