Shanghai Girls

A Novel

See, Lisa

Book - 2010
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Shanghai Girls
Two sisters leave Shanghai to find new lives in 1930s Los Angeles in this fresh, fascinating adventure.

Publisher: New York : Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2010
ISBN: 9780812980530
Branch Call Number: FICTION SEE 2010
Characteristics: 322 p. ;,21 cm


From Library Staff

May and Pearl, two sisters living in Shanghai in the mid-1930s, are beautiful, sophisticated, and well-educated, but their family is on the verge of bankruptcy. Hoping to improve their social standing, May and Pearl's parents arrange for their daughters to marry Gold Mountain men who have come fr... Read More »

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Mar 15, 2015
  • DanglingConversations rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

The first few chapters are deceptively frivolous, like the sisters themselves, stepping over bodies to go dancing and pose a beautiful people. The horror of real war and the sacrifice of their apparently shallow mother lures the reader into a fascinating tale of suffering and siblings who love each other but don't know each other. The final 'reveal' is heartrending and I hope there is a sequel to this heroic story of immigration from China to America.

Feb 03, 2015
  • kozakd rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

A study in contrast of the Shanghai life and American life of two sisters who manage to carve very different lives for themselves. The story gives s different twist on the idea that blood is thicker than water.

Oct 14, 2014
  • kakacurt rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Great "study" of China, Chinese culture and two girls in difficult times.

Sep 30, 2014
  • miaone rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

The beginning of the novel has some depth, I thought, but after the move to the US, the book becomes superficial and the characters are shallow.

Sep 17, 2014
  • WVMLStaffPicks rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Sisters Pearl and May work as models --“beautiful girls” -- in the cosmopolitan city of Shanghai just before World War II. Their carefree life is shattered when their father, bankrupt from gambling debts, sells the girls to a Chinese American businessman as brides for his sons. In their new home in Los Angeles’ Chinatown, Pearl and May are shocked by the poverty and discrimination they encounter, but together they persevere and reshape their lives.

Aug 21, 2014
  • kindrabirss rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I really love Lisa See's books and this one was no exception. Full of tragedy, loss and rebuilding, I love how Lisa creates characters that you really care for and are invested in. You must read Dreams of Joy after this.

Feb 06, 2014
  • ABenoit rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I liked it. It was a good story and i even learned a little chinese. I look forward to any future works from Mrs. See.

Dec 23, 2013
  • friendlyfaceca rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Eye opening. Excellent. Must continue with Dreams of Joy.

May 31, 2013
  • finn75 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Great historical fiction. Examines an episode in Chinese history through the eyes of two well off Chinese sisters. They move from comfort to danger and poverty when war breaks out. Then they have to shift to a strange country to marry two men they have never met! A sad story of survival but well worth the read.

Aug 07, 2012
  • angelstr2188 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Overall this was a great book. The author takes you through the hardships of the time period for those living in China. The journey for both the main characters is eye opening along with the way immigrants are treated once they get to the US. See could have continued the book with the journey back to Shanghai but the place she stopped was obviously a safe one.

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Jul 24, 2012
  • FrostyViolette rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

FrostyViolette thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Jun 24, 2012
  • tracylim2002 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

tracylim2002 thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over


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Jul 18, 2012
  • healice rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

"Because somehow, some way, I'm going to find Joy, and I'm going to bring my daughter, our daughter, home to my sister and me."


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