Indie Next ListJune 2009
Beginning in prewar Shanghai of the 1930s, Shanghai Girls tells an emotional story of two sisters who are 'pawned' in arranged marriages and sent to America as payment for a family debt. Lisa See has written a novel of sacrifice and newfound dreams that you must read. -- Carol Hicks, Bookshelf At Hooligan Rocks, Truckee, CA
In 1937 Shanghai—the Paris of Asia—twenty-one-year-old Pearl Chin and her younger sister, May, are having the time of their lives. Both are beautiful, modern, and carefree—until the day their father tells them that he has gambled away their wealth. To repay his debts, he must sell the girls as wives to suitors who have traveled from Los Angeles to find Chinese brides. As Japanese bombs fall on their beloved city, Pearl and May set out on the journey of a lifetime, from the Chinese countryside to the shores of America. Though inseparable best friends, the sisters also harbor petty jealousies and rivalries. Along the way they make terrible sacrifices, face impossible choices, and confront a devastating, life-changing secret, but through it all the two heroines of this astounding new novel hold fast to who they are—Shanghai girls.
About the Author
Lisa See is the New York Times bestselling author of Peony in Love, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Flower Net (an Edgar Award nominee), The Interior, and Dragon Bones, as well as the critically acclaimed memoir On Gold Mountain. The Organization of Chinese American Women named her the 2001 National Woman of the Year. She lives in Los Angeles.
Praise for Shanghai Girls…
“See is a gifted writer, and in Shanghai Girls she again explores the bonds of sisterhood while powerfully evoking the often nightmarish American immigrant experience.”—USA Today
“A buoyant and lustrous paean to the bonds of sisterhood.”–Booklist
“A rich work…as compulsively readable as it is an enlightening journey.”—Denver Post
“The glamour of prewar Shanghai is recalled in Lisa See’s deftly plotted Shanghai Girls.”—Vogue
“An engrossing tale of two sisters.”–Time.com
“Shanghai Girls is one of those books I could not wait to continue reading, because her characters' stories are so compellingly told.”—St. Louis Dispatch
“As in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Peony in Love, she has in her latest novel created ordinary women who, through willfulness and resiliency, accomplish extraordinary things…See, whose writing is as graceful as these '’beautiful girls,'’ pulls off another exceptional novel.”–Miami Herald