Two sisters, Pearl and May, lead exciting lives in Shanghai until their father’s once rich lifestyle is gambled away. Their father is forced to sell his daughters as wives to men in California seeking wives. Escaping from invading soldiers, they journey across to U.S.A. to begin new lives with the strangers they’ve married. This is Lisa See at her best.
Author: Mallee Stanley
Najin doesn’t want to live a traditional Korean life, but her father tries to force her into a marriage with an aristocratic family. Her mother, defying the traditional obedient wife, arranges a position for her daughter in the king’s court as a companion to a young princess. With Japan’s control over the country and the dying monarchy, Najin’s life becomes oppressive. When she unexpectedly finds love, they are soon separated and she must face Japan’s attack on China and Pearl Harbour while her husband is an ocean away.
With a through line about pu’er—a variety of tea plucked from ancient tea trees, Li-yan is the first Akha girl from her Chinese hill tribe to be educated. Instead of furthering her studies, she drops everything for her childhood sweetheart whom her parents disapprove of. Together they unsuccessfully seek the child Li-yan was forced to abandoned in an orphanage during his absence before they leave for Thailand. While she is away, her poor village prospers from the sudden popularity of pu’er while Li-yan becomes destitute from her opium addicted husband. She has not forgotten the daughter she was forced to abandoned, but soon her life begins to change.
I’ve read all Lisa See’s books and there isn’t one I wouldn’t give a five out of five.
Natalie lives in Finland and researches Envall—the founder of an extremist Protestant sect that she came into contact with thirty years earlier. As a thirteen year old, she had met Barbara whose family was sect followers. This community not only changed her life, but her face.