Monday, June 22, 2015

"China Dolls" by Lisa See

I have read several of Lisa See's books over the years and this one caught my eye at the library on its display shelf.  Published in 2014, it must be her most recent.  The story is set primarily in San Francisco just before and during World War II.  The lives of three American Oriental young women are intertwined beginning when Grace Lee runs away from home in Ohio to make a new life for herself.  She soon meets up with Helen Fong who has grown up in a traditional Chinese household.  Helen too is looking for an escape of sorts to the strictures of her home life though she never totally makes the break.  The third in the trio is Ruby Tom who brings both Grace and Helen under her sway very quickly.

The life the three live is in show business - dancers on stage at an Oriental nightclub catering to Occidentals. It's not an easy living considering its the Depression but the friendship grows between the three until Pearl Harbor is bombed and we learn something about Ruby.

Lisa See uses first person throughout but switches the story teller between the three.  I found it difficult at first to track who was telling the story but slowly warmed to it.

It's a friendship story, a love story, and a picture of life of which I was unaware.  If you've read others of her books, you'll like this one too.

Marcia


4 comments:

  1. Another one that sounds really interesting! I haven't read any of her books before and will check out her list. Thanks for the recommendation! Good to see you posting a review again, Marcia!

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  2. Fascinating. Can't wait to read it, Marcia. You read the most interesting books.

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  3. This sounds like such an interesting story Bethany. Thanks for the review.

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  4. I am waiting for this book from the library. I have read other books by her and have enjoyed them.

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