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Shanghai Girls: A Novel Paperback – Feb 2 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (Feb. 2 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812980530
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812980530
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.9 x 20.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #43,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

“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

“Splendid”—More

“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


From the Hardcover edition.

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.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MacFly on March 21 2010
Format: Hardcover
About a year ago, I started to listen to audiobooks as another way to "read" more. The selections I usually make in this category are books that I think are probably really good but that might take a bit more effort to read. That it, they are of a subject matter of which I know little, are really thick, and so on. Shanghai Girls is about two girls living a wonderful life in Shanghai before their father gambles away their futures and they enter into arranged marriages and move to the United States. I learned a great deal about China and the Chinese way of life and experience of moving to America in this book. The story itself was very, very good. I was engaged right from the very beginning to the end - and, in the end, I wanted more. I don't know that there will be a sequel of any sort, but there is still a lot more story that could be told. I really enjoyed the writing style - the story just seemed to flow with the right amount of detail while, at other times, longer periods of time could be covered more quickly. I will definitely seek out other books by this author to learn more about China and a Chinese experience of which I know very little.
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Format: Paperback
Lisa See writes a compelling book set in 1937 Shanghai. It follow the lives of two sister and their interactions between each other. It chronicles the journey of Pearl and May they set out from the country side of China to the shores of America. It describes how they survive the invasion of the Japanese and their subsequent journey to America as purchased brides - repayment to their father's creditors for gambling debts. If being sisters was not challenging enough then throw into the pot, petty jealously, rivalries, sacrifices, impossible choices an devastating life-changing secrets.
Through everything they face, one thing is for certain, their love and deep bond to each other.Ms. See shows the sisterly love can survive almost anything - even death. The power of this love gets even the most down trodden through her greatest challenges. I enjoyed the dynamics written in these pages and took solace that a sister's love is out there since my sister and I rarely see each other. Beautiful story, beautifully written. I look forward to reading more of Ms. See's work.
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By Nicola Mansfield HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 9 2011
Format: Paperback
Reason for Reading: I absolutely love Chinese historical fiction that takes place during the reign of the last empress through Mao's Cultural Revolution. I'll read other Chinese time periods but this era is absolutely fascinating to me. This book is perfectly situated starting with the Japanese invasion of China and ending with the first years of Mao's rule.

This is a generational drama which tells the story of one family and then two families as they become connected by marriage. The focus is on two sisters three years apart in age who, though very different in looks and temperaments are very close, and through all the hardships, tragedies, horrors and sufferings never part from each other. They are sold off as wives to a rich man's sons to pay off their father's gambling debts which have left his family destitute. However, with the invasion of the Japanese the girl's never make it to the ship to America with their new husbands. Instead they and their mother are left to escape Shanghai on their own and seek out a place where they may be safe from the rapacious Japanese. This part of the story is my favourite as it takes place during my favourite time period, the war and the Japanese atrocities in China at the time. The author has written a compelling and terrifying story for these three women, which many others will have experienced similar stories in real life at this time. The closeness between the sisters is bonded and solidified here and they realize the strength and love of their old-fashioned foot bound mother they never knew existed.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After a two wee trip to China reading this book has brought me back. Set in early 1900's you learn about the culture and traditions that are so important through two young women who have lost everything but survive. I would suggest this to anyone even if you have not traveled the Asia.
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By Jan on March 6 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a surprising book. I read it for my book club and did not expect to enjoy it so much. There is so much detail and as disturbing as it was, I found myself riveted. A great read, includes some history and leads you right into the sequel, Dreams of Joy.
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By Cindyw on Aug. 11 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book and found it to be continually moving with a few slow parts. I learned about the treatment of the Chinese and their continual inroads and suffering they had to make to live in North America. All in all a good read.
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