Julie's Reviews > Shanghai Girls

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
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Jun 23, 2009

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bookshelves: east-asia-theme-or-setting, historical-fiction, usa-historical, read-2009
Recommended to Julie by: The Seattle Times
Read in June, 2009

2 1/2 stars, really. After being so moved by Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, this latest novel by Lisa See was a disappointment.

I give her high marks for once again revealing an aspect of Chinese history unfamiliar to me and for painting such a vivid, vibrant picture of 1930's Shanghai. But this story, and its characters, just didn't resonate with me in the way I'd anticipated.

Perhaps she tried to tell too great of a story with too many characters caught up in such a complex environment and events, but the character development rang somewhat hollow. The latter third was a rushed-through narrative that felt like the author was tiring of her own story and wanted the years to pass by. A very melodramatic ending that made little sense, yet left the door so obviously open for a sequel, was exasperating.

If I'd read this first, I probably would never have continued on with See's other historical fiction novels, but I still plan to take up Peony in Love.
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06/06 marked as: read

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