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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

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Performance
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  •  
    Katherine Rye, CO, United States 08-22-09
    Katherine Rye, CO, United States 08-22-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Shanghai Girls"

    I am hoping this is a historic fiction because the history of China has been very interesting and I'm hopeful that it is accurate. The story is also interesting to me and I find myself looking for opportunities to listen as much as possible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara columbia, MD, USA 08-13-09
    Barbara columbia, MD, USA 08-13-09 Member Since 2007
    ratings
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    30
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    Overall
    "Enjoyable, almost to the end"

    This was my first encounter with Lisa See's work. I found the subject matter interesting (2 sisters forced by war and family tragedy to leave their native Shanghai and emigrate to the U.S. in the 1940s). The story and See's style were engaging, but I felt manipulated by the story's ending -- a rather crass setup for a sequel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christy M Michigan 08-13-09
    Christy M Michigan 08-13-09 Member Since 2009

    Christy M.

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    "A little disappointing."

    I absolutely loved SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN so when I saw this one by the same author I was very anxious to read it. It was good, but not great. The ending was very disappointing. It's a good listen, but I can't rave about it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail El Cajon, CA, United States 07-21-10
    Gail El Cajon, CA, United States 07-21-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Is there a Seguel?"

    Pretty good story, and well narrated but not totally believable for me regarding May and her husband thing... you'll get it when you listen to the story otherwise it should receive 5 stars. It did hold my interest and I do recommend it. I felt I learned more about what happened to the Chinese in the internment camps and the threat of communism during that time period. No bad language or overly done descriptive curtly. I do hope there is a sequel to see what happens to the daughter. I would differently buy it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn Friendsville, PA, United States 06-25-09
    Carolyn Friendsville, PA, United States 06-25-09 Member Since 2006
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    "Honest but Sad"

    Lisa See is an excellent writer. She paints every scene. Honest description of life at that time but so sad. Strong stomach needed. There were so few comfortable moments for her characters. Narrator was perfect. Ending was most unsatisfactory.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Atlanta, GA, United States 06-25-09
    John Atlanta, GA, United States 06-25-09 Member Since 2007
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    "Good story - fair book"

    While the book has an interesting story - two sisters are forced from their native china and end up living in America, I was disappointed with the book overall.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rob Gifford, IL, United States 06-24-09
    Rob Gifford, IL, United States 06-24-09 Member Since 2001
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    "Somewhat aggravated"

    It was a little aggravating listening to how naive these two girls were. A little common sense would have saved them much hardship. Overall I did like the story and felt it was worth listening to.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
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