I have listened to both "shanghai girls" and "dreams of joy". This title is not nearly as compelling. It is slow paced, and frustrating. Skip it.
The story was disappointing. I didn't find any of the characters likable. The friendship between the two main women left me empty. The placid acceptance of the thankless role of women in China at the time of the story, not to mention the AWFUL foot binding, was so frustrating and depressing. It made me want to shake the woman. GET ANGRY! At least feel angry. Express your anger about your plight and the plight of women to your dearest friend. But she didn't. In addition, I found the reader's delivery distracting. Even had the material been something I liked, the way it was told would have ruined it.
I hope not!
Her delivery was so dramatized, I kept expecting something really big was going to happen in the next sentence. It rarely did.
It was interesting to learn about Chinese culture.
Lisa See's memoir was interesting but with too many verbose, repetitious, boring stretches. Books about Chinese culture have always interested me but I had never heard of the lautong (sp) relationship between girls. It bothered me because it seemed to encourage lesbianism. I also didn't care for the narrator. The way she clipped words was unnatural and she made everything sound too melodramatic. If you want a good book about Chinese life, I would recommend one written by Pearl Buck.