Tag: Shanghai setting

Lisa See’s — Shanghai Girls *****

Lisa See’s — Shanghai Girls *****

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.

Hyeonseo Lee’s — The girl with seven names*****

Hyeonseo Lee’s — The girl with seven names*****

Hyeonnseo’s page turning memoir begins when she was a child growing up in a loving family in Hyesan, North Korea near the border with China. Her life was simple until she was school-age and her political indoctrination began, where speaking even a word against Kim il-sung and his son, Kim John-il had diabolical consequences. As she grew older, more political involvement was expected of her until the great famine occurred partly from the Soviet Union’s collapse. Teaches praised the Great Leaders for eating less during this time, but Hyeonnseo noticed no change in their robust bodies. 

Continue reading “Hyeonseo Lee’s — The girl with seven names*****”
Lisa See’s — Dreams of Joy *****

Lisa See’s — Dreams of Joy *****

When Joy’s father commits suicide and she learns a secret Aunt May and her mother, Pearl have hidden from her all her life, she leaves Los Angeles and enters China. She hopes to forget her life back in America and find her birth father. Joy is elated by her father’s status and by village life under Mao. After Pearl reaches China in search of her daughter, she finds Joy dazzled by a poor country peasant and nothing she says can convince Joy of her ill fated match.

May and Pearl are characters from Shanghai Girls. Now the tale continues a generation later and is just as riveting.

Janie Chang’s — Dragon Springs Road *****

Janie Chang’s — Dragon Springs Road *****

When the Fong’s estate near Shanghai is sold and the Yangs arrive, Jialing’s mother disappears and Jialing becomes a bond servant to the new family. Through her friendship with the spirit fox and Anjuin, the Yangs oldest daughter, she survives. A group of teachers rent a section of the estate and Jialing is given an opportunity to go to school. But even with her education and perfect English no one will employ her because she is zazhong— half Chinese, half Eurasian. How will she survive once the Yangs move to Shanghai leaving her behind?