- Virginia Johnson
Sisters Pearl and May Chin are “Beautiful Girls”—artists’ models in 1930s Shanghai. They live in amazing times in a modern city, dancing at nightclubs, dining at expensive restaurants, buying new outfits, and having lots of admirers. Neither college-graduate Pearl nor everyone’s darling May give much thought to their futures. They think they can go on like this forever, marrying as they choose, if they choose. Unfortunately for these Shanghai Girls, they are quite mistaken.
Just as their personal lives are turned upside down by unsuspected family secrets, Shanghai itself is threatened by Japanese invasion. Suddenly, a fate the sisters tried desperately to avoid seems like their only safe haven. Half a world away, they have to try to make new lives together in Los Angeles.
Lisa See’s Shanghai Girls is a fast-paced, emotionally charged journey to another time and place. The sisters have an incredibly strong and loving relationship, but it is underlain with secrets and bitterness as they struggle to survive both in China and Los Angeles. Readers who are swept up in Pearl and May’s story will want to reserve the sequel, Dreams of Joy, which follows the Chin girls’ story back to a very changed China. Both are available as eBooks, on audio, and as Book Club Kits.