Auto boutiques-francophones Simple and secure cloud storage SmartSaver Kitchen Kindle Music Deals Store SGG Tools

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars10
3.6 out of 5 stars
Format: HardcoverChange
Price:$27.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on October 6, 2015
Dreams of Joy is a mother-daughter story, a story of idealism meeting reality, and the strength of familial bonds.

Reeling from newly uncovered family secrets, and anger at her mother and aunt for keeping them from her, 19 year old Joy runs away to Shanghai in early 1957 to find her birth father—the artist Z.G. Li. Dazzled by him, and blinded by idealism and defiance, Joy throws herself into the New Society of Red China, heedless of the dangers in the communist regime and the Great Leap Forward.

Terrified for her daughter's safety, Pearl is determined to save her, no matter what the personal cost as one of the most tragic episodes in China’s history threatens their very lives. From the crowded city to remote villages, Pearl confronts old demons and almost insurmountable challenges as she follows Joy, hoping for reconciliation. Yet even as Joy’s and Pearl’s separate journeys converge, one of the most tragic episodes in China’s history threatens their very lives.

I like Lisa See's books and this one did not disappoint. Yes, the ending wrapped up quickly and perhaps a bit too neatly, but she is well researched and appears to have a good understanding of family dynamics.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 2, 2015
I couldn't wait for this sequel to Shanghai Girls but I was so disappointed and I could not get past the part of Joy finding her father on the first day of her arrival in Shanghai. Having lived in Asia and having traveled in China extensively, I found Joy's journey and experiences on her first day in Shanghai totally unrealistic. How could anyone find their birth father in a city of millions of people on the day they arrive? It was downhill from there.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 4, 2014
Amazing book! Love it and I recommend it!
It’s a profound story with many turning points, emotions, adventures and horror moments.
I loved the main characters and their continuous fight for their own dreams.

Here are some quotes I like and would love to share:
“Everybody works so everybody eats.”
“A hurried marriage is not a solid basis for a marriage. Suicide is not a solution to unhappiness.”
“Just remember, a person is his – or her – history. If your history isn't good, then you won’t be good. A rebel as a five-year-old will be a rebel as young man and will die a rebel.”
“The spear hits the bird that sticks his head out.”
“As long as we have enthusiasm and determination, we can achieve anything!”
“An inch of gold won’t buy an inch of time.”
“Always show the greatest kindness to the ones you like the least. If you show kindness to your mother-in-law, who like all women has been bred to hate her daughter-in-law, then you will create an obligation she will never be able to repay.”
“No matter what you’re feeling or how desperate you become, always take a moral position.”
“Those who have little to lose don’t want to lose what little they have. “
“…men are attracted to women who are crazy about them.”
“…truth, forgiveness, and goodness are more important than revenge, condemnation, and cruelty.”
“Give a low man one ounce of power and he’ll throw ten thousand pounds of bricks on your head.”
“Nothing is more precious than when you might lose it.”
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 8, 2014
I really enjoyed this book. It was full of insight and gave a riveting story of the beginning enthusiasm of the PRC, followed by the reality of a planned economy, all the while interweaving the personal story of a young idealistic girl.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 17, 2013
I have read several of Lisa See books & found them quite enjoyable.
Well worth reading during these cold wintry days.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 18, 2013
I have the hardcopy too so this is not a review of the book but of the recording. I want to do this because a bad audio can ruin a book. I get the audio for commute. This is brutal to listen too. Whole sections of it made me want to rip my earphones out. The narrator, Janet Song, constantly sounds like she has a mouth full of saliva. Its VERY annoying. I'm asian so don't try to pretend it's a racial thing. Have you ever seen an asian news anchor sound like she's gargling her own saliva? NO because it is unpleasant to listen to.

Buy the eBook or hardcopy instead. Or look for one without Janet Song as narrator.
As well, she places unneeded and inappropriate emotional stress in Joy's voice. She constantly sounds like she's on the verge of tears and that is not the voice of that character in every single friggin page. Especially when I feel like she might spit on me while she's talking because of the saliva audible in her words.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon July 16, 2012
I was very disappointed with this book. I had high hopes because I really did enjoy Shanghai Girls. The beginning of the book wasn't so bad actually. It was pretty interesting. I liked the way you follow Joy through her journey to China - it was an eye opener, but her naivete also gets the best out of her as well. The reader already knows she's in for a quite a bit of pain and suffering and so sometimes you find yourself shaking your head at Joy's blind faith in the system.

I actually preferred Pearl's point of view of the story and her journey, because she had left so much behind and some questions were left unanswered. I loved how she went back home, back to her town and back to where she used to live, to find it radically changed, but she found people she recognized. It wasn't really a reunion that would be considered nice, but after so many years of not seeing these people, it was nice to see they were still there. I really liked reading Pearl because she showed a lot of strength and courage to go back and face anything to get Joy back.

When the Great Leap Forward comes along, I liked how this was added in, to make the plot move, and to put Joy and Pearl's journeys on a similar backdrop, but I just could not get into it. It was really slow and things just seemed to drag. The switching back and forth from Pearl to Joy wasn't so bad but the pace of the book was about the same as watching molasses being poured out of a container. Joy's plot really did seem to drag its' heels. I did not know how much of her stupidity I could take.

The ending wasn't so bad. However by the time I was almost done, I really wanted it to be done. It was very drawn out, and the writing just seemed really bland. It did not have the same dramatic tone as Shanghai Girls did. One thing I will mention though, this book does a good job in drawing out feelings from the reader.

It wasn't the greatest book, if you're a fan, or wanting to know what happens at the end of Shanghai Girls, well you might as well read it. Otherwise, you could just skip it. It's too slow and bland to be fully enjoyed which is too bad, it would have been an excellent novel otherwise.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 28, 2012
This is a must read after Shanghai Girls. Lisa See, again, does not disappoint with her storytelling about immigrants who migrate to the west for political or economic reasons and the first generations quest for their roots. See does this poignantly through her young, defiant daughter. The young woman's quest discloses numerous socioeconomic issues communism would prefer to conceal behind the bamboo curtain. A well researched page-turner.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2011
Set in the late 1950s, "Dreams of Joy" is the story of young Joy Louie who leaves her comfortable home in Los Angeles' Chinatown for the People's Republic of China to find both her birth father and what she thinks will be a better way of life. Her association with a communist group at the University of Chicago has led her to believe that it isn't the evil portrayed by the United States Government.

Since her birth father is a well-known artist in Shanghai, it is fairly easy for her to find him in spite of government restrictions. After his initial shock of discovering he even has a daughter, he seems happy to know her. She travels with him to the village of Green Dragon where she joins the commune and falls in love with a young peasant farmer.

In 1958, Mao announced the "Great Leap Forward," an attempt to increase agricultural and industrial production. However, three years of floods and bad harvest due to poor farming methods, severely damaged levels of production. The famine that occurred reportedly resulted in 4.5 million fatalities. The author masterfully transports us to that village and shows us in startling detail the horrors that result from this famine. Her attention to detail is wonderful and, while the book isn't a page-turner in the sense of a thriller, I was spellbound by the history of a period in China that has always fascinated me.

Although "Dreams of Joy" is the sequel to "Shanghai Girls," which I have never read, I found it stands alone quite well. Since I am always intrigued by the history of China, I will certainly go back and read the prequel, as well as Ms. See's earlier books. She is a skilful author with the ability to transfer the reader to the exotic country she writes about.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
On August 23, 1957, nineteen-year-old Joy, is a confused and upset Chinese girl. Everything she thought she knew about her birth has been a lie! The woman she thought was her mother was her aunt. Her aunt is actually her mother, and the man she loved as her father turns out not to have been her father at all and now he's dead. Her "biological" father is an artist from Shanghai whom both her mother and aunt have loved since before Joy was born. His name is Li Zhi-ge or Z.G. Li Zhi-ge used to paint Joy's mother and aunt when they were models back in Shanghai.

At 2 o'clock in the morning, Joy decides to leave their Los Angeles, California home and go to China. She packs a bag, writes her mother a note and quietly slips out the door. She walks to the nearest pay phone and calls her boyfriend Joe and tells him to get up, get dressed and get on a plane to San Francisco to meet her - they were going to China! Joe was having no part of that and hung up on her. However, Joy is still going to China, determined as ever to find her "real" father: "...even if he lives in a country of 600 million."

Joy is dazzled by Z.G. but is totally blinded by idealism and defiance and throws herself into the New Society of Red China, heedless of the dangers in the Communist regime.

Distraught by Joy's leaving and terrified for her safety, Pearl is determined to save her daughter, no matter the personal cost. From the crowded city to remote villages, Pearl confronts old demons and almost insurmountable challenges as she follows Joy, hoping for reconciliation.

A beautiful story of a family challenged by tragedy and time, but ultimately united by the resilience of love. Lisa See has a remarkable ability for writing and I've read every book she has written and with each one she just keeps outdoing herself. This is one you won't want to miss.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
On Gold Mountain
On Gold Mountain by Lisa See (Paperback - Feb. 7 2012)
CDN$ 18.95