"Shanghai Girls," by Lisa See is a historical period piece that starts out in 1937 Shanghai and ends on a cliffhanger in 1950s Los Angeles. This book tells the story of sisterhood, immigration, war, politics, social status, motherhood, marriage, culture, and traditions and how all those things collide and can help and hurt us at times.
The book cover drew me in because of its artsy colorful depiction of the sisters, and then I moved on to read the summary, which had me at, "...sold as wives to some Americans." I thought that was the ringer, but that's only half of it, which would have been enough for me! Instead See layers more and more in like a finely crafted Italian lasagna.
Let me tell you, Lisa See knows how to tell a story! Her research is impeccable, easy to understand and interesting; her characters are multi-dimensional; and she can even create conflict with the unwritten word. This is the type of writer I aspire to be!
The first chapter is titled, Beautiful Girls, but the first sentence starts out, "Our daughter looks like a South China peasant with those red cheeks," my father complains, pointedly ignoring the soup before him. "Can't you do something about them?" Talk about conflict between the title and the first sentence and between a father and daughter. Lisa See definitely captivates from the very beginning.
If you enjoy a good story with a great plot, characters, and climax, you will enjoy, "Shanghai Girls". Also, if you are an author or aspiring author, you will enjoy and learn a lot from this book. I would definitely rate this book in my top ten of all time.
My book club needs more suggestions....what are you reading right now?