Shanghai Girls

2 books in series
4.5 out of 5 stars 3,674 ratings

Shanghai Girls Publisher's Summary

Number-one New York Times best-seller.

“A gifted writer...explores the bonds of sisterhood while powerfully evoking the often nightmarish American immigrant experience.” (USA Today)

In 1937, Shanghai is the Paris of Asia, a city of great wealth and glamour, the home of millionaires and beggars, gangsters and gamblers, patriots and revolutionaries, artists and warlords. Thanks to the financial security and material comforts provided by their father’s prosperous rickshaw business, 21-year-old Pearl Chin and her younger sister, May, are having the time of their lives. Though both sisters wave off authority and tradition, they couldn’t be more different: Pearl is a dragon sign, strong and stubborn, while May is a true sheep, adorable and placid. Both are beautiful, modern, and carefree...until the day their father tells them he has gambled away their wealth and that in order to repay his debts, he must sell the girls as wives to suitors who have traveled from California to find Chinese brides. 

As Japanese bombs fall on their beloved city, Pearl and May set out on the journey of a lifetime, one that will take them through the Chinese countryside, in and out of the clutch of brutal soldiers, and across the Pacific to the shores of America. 

In Los Angeles, they begin a fresh chapter, trying to find love with the strangers they have married, brushing against the seduction of Hollywood, and striving to embrace American life even as they fight against discrimination, brave communist witch hunts, and find themselves hemmed in by Chinatown’s old ways and rules.  

At its heart, Shanghai Girls is a story of sisters: Pearl and May are inseparable best friends who share hopes, dreams, and a deep connection, but like sisters everywhere, they also harbor petty jealousies and rivalries. They love each other, but each knows exactly where to drive the knife to hurt the other the most. 

Along the way, they face terrible sacrifices, make impossible choices, and confront a devastating, life-changing secret, but through it all the two heroines of this astounding new novel hold fast to who they are: Shanghai girls.

Praise for Shanghai Girls:

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

“A rich work...as compulsively readable as it is an enlightening journey.” (Denver Post)

©2009 Random House (P)2009 Random House
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  • Book 1

    • Shanghai Girls

    • A Novel
    • By: Lisa See
    • Narrated by: Janet Song
    • Length: 13 hrs and 29 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 2,242
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,378
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,390

    Thanks to the financial security and material comforts provided by their father’s prosperous rickshaw business, 21-year-old Pearl Chin and her younger sister, May, are having the time of their lives. Though both sisters wave off authority and tradition, they couldn’t be more different, but both are beautiful, modern, and carefree...until the day their father tells them he has gambled away their wealth and that in order to repay his debts, he must sell the girls as wives to suitors who have traveled from California to find Chinese brides.  

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Touching, sad, and enjoyable

    • By Beach Biker on 07-15-09

    Regular price: $31.93

  • Book 2

    • Dreams of Joy

    • A Novel
    • By: Lisa See
    • Narrated by: Janet Song
    • Length: 15 hrs and 43 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,432
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,098
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 1,095

    In her beloved New York Times best sellers Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, and, most recently, Shanghai Girls, Lisa See has brilliantly illuminated the potent bonds of mother love, romantic love, and love of country. Now, in her most powerful novel yet, she returns to these timeless themes, continuing the story of sisters Pearl and May from Shanghai Girls, and Pearl’s strong-willed 19-year-old daughter, Joy.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Dreams of Joy and all of Lisa See's books

    • By maida smith on 06-03-11

    Regular price: $31.50