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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 (1382 )
5 star
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4.2 (619 )
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4.3 (609 )
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Performance
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  •  
    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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    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 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    192
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    86
    53
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    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
    FOLLOWERS
    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 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    115
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    141
    42
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    99
    0
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    Performance
    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 2009

    bookwormmom45

    HELPFUL VOTES
    231
    ratings
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    24
    21
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    FOLLOWING
    124
    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
  •  
    Karen Holbrook coastal North Carolina 10-11-09
    Karen Holbrook coastal North Carolina 10-11-09 Member Since 2009

    Dixie Kangaroo

    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    114
    10
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    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 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    66
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    57
    32
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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
  •  
    Tracy Glendale, AZ, USA 08-24-09
    Tracy Glendale, AZ, USA 08-24-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "Loved the book, hated the lack of an ending"

    I loved the story, especially the historical aspects of it. When I came to the end, I thought I had neglected to download the final chapters. It is obviously a set up for a sequel, which I plan to purchase. I just wish I would have realized beforehand.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Quechee, VT, United States 07-27-09
    Katherine Quechee, VT, United States 07-27-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    30
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    9
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    2
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    Overall
    "Sisters"

    I loved this book about sisters. The bond that exists between the two women is what drives this amazing book. The assumtions that the two women make about each other gently reveal themselves. A perfect book.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S New York, NY, United States 11-10-09
    S New York, NY, United States 11-10-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    47
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    46
    20
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    1
    Overall
    "Surprisingly elegant..."

    I originally purchased this for my mother, and started listening because I didn't have anything else handy. I admit to having a low annoyance threshold for immigrant stories (being second-generation myself, I find it a tired theme), but I found that the book deals gently with a number of themes, all in a delicate balance. The more universal themes of sisterhood and motherhood came very strongly to the forefront. Great listen, believable narration - I was thoroughly drawn in, and eagerly await the sequel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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