Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Recent reads: Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

A sinus infection in the summer time leaves little time for fun, but I was able to take time to relax and finish reading Shanghai Girls by Lisa See. Since the book was recommended by a friend, I decided to put it at the top of my list, instead of delving into the pile I already had waiting for me.

Shanghai Girls is an account of two sisters' lives in the 1930's. Like the title of the book, their lives are influenced by the town they live in- Shanghai. An easy life is soon turned to tragedy, as family lies threaten their way of living and the Japanese army forces their way into Shanghai. With nowhere to go, they leave their past, and look for a new life in America.

Best friends and sisters, the relationship between Pearl and May is continually challenged, leaving the reader left to wonder at the power of forgiveness.

I was very surprised at the unique voice the author portrays of the older sister- Pearl. For the entire book my thoughts paralleled the older sisters, until the very end when the author lets us hear what the younger sister has been thinking and feeling about the tragedies they have faced together.

Besides teaching about the powerful relationship between sisters, the author also touches on what it was like for the Chinese to become U.S. citizens during and after World War II. The author takes the reader on a journey through the prejudices and obstacles faced, some bringing more sorrow than can be imagined.

I am always excited to find a new author, and I will be looking to read more of Lisa See's books in the future.

1 comment:

  1. Shanghai Girls is still in my "to read" pile, but I have read Peony in Love by the same author. It's set in China, long ago, with lots of interesting historical and cultural details.