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Shanghai Girls: A Novel | [Lisa See]

Shanghai Girls: A Novel

Hoping to improve their social standing, May and Pearl's parents arrange for their daughters to "Gold Mountain men" who have come from Los Angeles to find brides. But when the sisters leave China and arrive at Angel's Island (the Ellis Island of the West, where they are detained, interrogated, and humiliated for months) they feel the harsh reality of leaving home. And when May discovers she's pregnant, the situation becomes even more desperate. The sisters make a pact that no one can ever know.
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Publisher's Summary

For readers of the phenomenal best sellers Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Peony in Love, a stunning new novel from Lisa See about two sisters who leave Shanghai to find new lives in 1930s Los Angeles.

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 from Los Angeles to find brides.

But when the sisters leave China and arrive at Angel's Island (the Ellis Island of the West, where they are detained, interrogated, and humiliated for months) they feel the harsh reality of leaving home. And when May discovers she's pregnant, the situation becomes even more desperate. The sisters make a pact that no one can ever know.

A novel about two sisters, two cultures, and the struggle to find a new life in America while bound to the old, Shanghai Girls is a fresh, fascinating adventure from beloved and best-selling author Lisa See.

©2009 Random House; (P)2009 Random House

What the Critics Say

"A buoyant and lustrous paean to the bonds of sisterhood." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1585 )
5 star
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4.2 (805 )
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4.3 (793 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Lois BOSTON, MA, United States 02-05-10
    Lois BOSTON, MA, United States 02-05-10 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    8
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    Overall
    "Good listen"

    This is an engaging book with an interesting dose of history. Not a challenging piece of literature, neither does it insult your intelligence. I enjoyed it

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leona Frewsburg, NY, USA 01-16-10
    Leona Frewsburg, NY, USA 01-16-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    "Shanghai Girls"

    A very good read for those who love historical novels and novels about women and the "age they grow up in". A good novel for those who wish to learn about the oppression of women's personal growth based on the times they are raised in, and how some manage to survive and surmount in overcoming the restrictions in their lives.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy Calgary, Alberta, Canada 06-19-09
    Wendy Calgary, Alberta, Canada 06-19-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Loved this book"

    This is my 1st Lisa See book and will not be my last. I got to know all the characters so well...it was a book that I was disappointed when it ended. i learned so much about the history of China and its people. The voice of Janet Song, the narrator, was so engaging. I loved this book!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wallen Danderyd, Sweden 01-15-10
    Wallen Danderyd, Sweden 01-15-10 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    218
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    91
    55
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    7
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    Overall
    "A moving story"

    I ejnoyed listening to this book as the story was both interesting and exciting. The story is complex and it makes you both smile and cry. The reader became like a friend and I was sad when the book was finished. The fact that the story is built on historical facts makes it even more compelling. I can warmly recommend this book.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie Coboconk, Ontario, Canada 07-07-09
    Leslie Coboconk, Ontario, Canada 07-07-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "rich imagery, author takes you back"

    I would recommend See's story for those who are ready to learn about the culture of the east, mixed in with a rich, emotional tale of perseverance and complex relationships. The reader Janet Song's voice is very mezmorizing also. Such a captivating tale.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ann coleman LEWISVILLE, TX, US 07-23-12
    ann coleman LEWISVILLE, TX, US 07-23-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    146
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    154
    42
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    115
    0
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    Story
    "The Best!"

    I enjoyed this book so much!! I love when I come across a book that I cant get enough of. I'm so glad I took a chance on something different then my usual read. This book was so refreshing!! Loved It!!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lea Gladewater, TX, United States 10-14-11
    Lea Gladewater, TX, United States 10-14-11 Member Since 2013

    bookwormmom45

    HELPFUL VOTES
    284
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    23
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    130
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I will listen many times!"

    I was so hooked I actually bought credits above my membership credits to get the sequel 'Dreams of Joy.' I felt close to the characters, it illuminated 'mother/daughter' relationships and I even learned a little history in an entertaining way. Marvelous story, good narrator, though sometimes her way of reading half a sentence, pause, half a sentence seemed too pronounced. Not enough of a bother to take away a star from this great tale!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 11-28-09
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 11-28-09 Member Since 2006

    Addicted to Audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1495
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    351
    192
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    440
    2
    Overall
    "Seemed like "Part One" of a series"

    I enjoyed this book, even though the story was a bit contrived, till the end when it abruptly halted. It made me think that perhaps the author has a sequel in mind? I was dissapointed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Holbrook coastal North Carolina 10-11-09
    Karen Holbrook coastal North Carolina 10-11-09 Member Since 2009

    Dixie Kangaroo

    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    134
    10
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "I Loved it"

    The characters are so well developed. Even though they came from a completely different culture I felt I knew each of them. It is an interesting story of the Chinese in America in the mid 20th century.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie Bellingham, WA, United States 09-13-09
    Laurie Bellingham, WA, United States 09-13-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    77
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    63
    32
    FOLLOWERS
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    8
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    Overall
    "Highly entertaining"

    Have read Lisa See's other books, and this one is also very entertaining. Great reading voice, easy to listen to. The ending was bogus, though - obviously a set up for a sequel, but rather disappointing. Little closure.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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