Sunday, January 24, 2010

Blog Tour - Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

Shanghai Girls
Lisa See
Random House
May 2009
309 pg.

My Thoughts
Pearl and May are two beautiful girls who live the good life in Shanghai. Shopping, partying, and being the face on calendars hanging in all the shops and houses - they believe their lives are perfect. Then, one day their father announces that they are to be wed. He has arranged marriages for them both. Pearl's and May's lives change drastically.

When war comes to Shanghai, May and Pearl know they must find their husbands in order to survive. What they find waiting for them in Los Angeles is nothing they could have prepared for. The find a family with "paper sons" and "paper partners" and girls are still of no value. I found the idea of people inventing relatives in order to become citizens fascinating. Selling yourself to come to America and find the "Gold Mountain" so that your "father" can know his ancestors will be blessed when he dies.

Lisa See includes lots of details to give you an idea of the places the girls see and the experiences that they go through. This can serve to put the reader in the book with the characters but for me, it made the book a little harder to get through. There are moments, though, that the book is thoroughly engaging: when their mother decides they will run away from the Green Gang rather than succumb to their demands, and when the mother makes the ultimate sacrifice to help her daughters carry-on and when the INS starts following their paper trail.

Although the plot jumped forward quickly, ten years here, two months there, those were just words the author inserted. I know that May's character was supposed to be immature, she was the younger sister and always doted on, but I couldn't see that Pearl had grown-up either. The introduction of the uncles and the father of a friend from the past seemed like afterthoughts. The ending demands a sequel but I won't rush to get it though I'm sure I will read it.

About the Author
Lisa See is the New York Times bestselling author of Peony in Love, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Flower Net (an Edgar Award nominee), The Interior, and Dragon Bones, as well as the critically acclaimed memoir On Gold Mountain. The Organization of Chinese American Women named her the 2001 National Woman of the Year. She lives in Los Angeles.

Lisa talking about Shanghai Girls

Shanghai Girls Giveaway
If you want to follow Pearl's and May's adventures from Shanghai to Los Angeles, from rich to poor, the dilemma of "paper sons" and soft-bone disease, you can!

Win Shanghai Girls!
Leave a comment to enter. Be sure to leave your email address!
US/Canada Residents Only.
Contest ends midnight, January 31, 2010.

Book provided by TLC Book Tours and Random House.


  1. Thanks for the lovely giveaway. I'd love to read this!

    s.mickelson at gmail dot com

  2. Hey Kathy, I'm sorry the book wasn't more to your liking. I'm a big Lisa See fan so I gobbled this book up and enjoyed every minute. But thank you for a fair and well-thought-out review. We really appreciate the time and effort you put into reading and reviewing SG. Thanks so much.

  3. This book immersed me in a different place and time. I found this book utterly fascinating.

    No need to enter me in the giveaway, because I already have it.

  4. This book looks awesome! I am very interested in learning all I can about China. (We traveled to China several years ago to bring my daughter home).

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  5. Thanks so much for the giveaway -- I have read some really good reviews for this book!
    sierranelsby (at) gmail (dot) com

  6. I'd love to read this book! Thanks!

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

  7. please count me in...thanks


  8. This seems like it would e a really good read, and that cover is beautiful. Please count me in. Thanks!


  9. Pixie13 - You win a copy. Please send your address so I can forward it to the publisher! Thanks to everyone for visiting and commenting on my blog!


Thanks for chatting! I love comments and look forward to reading yours! I may not reply right away, but I am listening! Keep reading and don't forget to be awesome!


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