Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Shanghai Girls

Shanghai Girls
by Lisa See

I really love historical fiction. I love the way it draws you into the time and place that is being described. I always feel like I learn so much from these types of books. There is just something much more interesting about following the lives of these characters then reading a history book.

This book was no exception. Lisa See has done a great job of showing us what it might have been like to live in China at the brink of World War Two and what life for those who choose to come America might have been like. The story follows two sisters who live in Shanghai, where they wear modern clothes and scoff at their parents old fashioned ways. Their lives are thrown into turmoil when their father sells them as brides to pay off his debt. It follows the events that transpire during their escape from China and their attempt for a new life in America. These two sisters face so many trials through out their lives and each one reacted differently to them. It was interesting how the beliefs that they laughed at their parents for  become so important to them later in life.

Although I enjoyed reading this book and thought that the story line was fascinating, I did find this book to be very sad. While they find some success in life, it felt like they were constantly facing new struggles that made it impossible for them to be completely happy. It even ends with them facing a new tragic situation, which made it feel like there wasn't a real conclusion to the novel. Now I find myself wonder what happens next and will they every find happiness in their situation. I would guess that is what the author had in mind since I believe there is a sequel to this story.

Has anyone read the sequel? Is it worth reading?

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