Last year I read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, and then ran right out to get Peony in Love when I was finished. Since then I’ve been eagerly waiting for her latest book, Shanghai Girls, and was very happy to have an advance copy to read and review over the holiday weekend.
Shanghai Girls is another engaging and fascinating novel from Lisa See. I love how much I learn about Chinese culture and history when I read Lisa See’s novels.
This novel is set just before, during, and after WWII, and takes us on a journey with two sisters from Shanghai as they are forced to leave their country and everything they’ve ever known and start a new life in the United States. (You can read a longer description of the plot, from the jacket copy, here.)
I loved the time period this was set in, and it was interesting to compare what I learned about 17th & 19th century Chinese culture in Snow Flower and Peony in Love with Chinese culture & traditions in the 1940s. Arranged marriages and foot-binding may have been (mostly) outdated, but their rich traditions and culture still thrive.
This is the perfect summer read – a page turner that you wont be able to put down, with the wonderful bonus of being very educational as well. You’ll most likely learn a lot about what life was like for a Chinese-American family during the war and the subsequent Red Scare.
I’m seeing Lisa See tomorrow night at her event at the Barnes and Noble on the UWS. Very excited!
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