Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dreams of Joy (Shanghai Girls #2)” as Want to Read:
Dreams of Joy (Shanghai Girls #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dreams of Joy

(Shanghai Girls #2)

by
4.07  ·  Rating details ·  52,413 ratings  ·  4,574 reviews
In her most powerful novel yet, acclaimed author Lisa See returns to the story of sisters Pearl and May from Shanghai Girls, and Pearl’s strong-willed nineteen-year-old daughter, Joy. Reeling from newly uncovered family secrets, Joy runs away to Shanghai in early 1957 to find her birth father—the artist Z.G. Li, with whom both May and Pearl were once in love. Dazzled by hi ...more
Hardcover, 354 pages
Published May 31st 2011 by Random House (first published 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dreams of Joy, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Sheri
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Marcie From the acknowledgments, it says she went to Huangcun village in Anwei province and stayed in a 17th century villa called Zhong Xian Di. It also says…moreFrom the acknowledgments, it says she went to Huangcun village in Anwei province and stayed in a 17th century villa called Zhong Xian Di. It also says "I've changed much of Huangcun's geography to create Green Dragon Village, but visitors will readily recognize the ancestral temple, the stone bridges, the villa, and the beauty of the landscape."(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  52,413 ratings  ·  4,574 reviews


Filter
 | 
Sort order
Praj
May 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 女性
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sandra
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, beautiful book...and a bit horrifying as well. I was unaware when I started this book that it was part of a well-known series involving Pearl and Mae, two of the story's main characters. Joy is the 19 year old daughter of Chinese nationals who relocated to California at the start of China's "Cultural Revolution". The book opens with the death of Joy's father and a startling family skeleton revealed. Deeply shaken, Joy leaves the US to pursue her idea of China. Believing, as only a col ...more
Ellie
I'll say at the outset: I love Lisa See. I loved On Gold Mountain: The 100 Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family. The Flower Net, Shanghai Girls, Peony in Love, and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. I love her writing, her carefully researched hstory, her political commitment, and deft creation of characters, her portrayal of relationships, especially family ones.

So I was thrilled to win her soon-to-be-published new work, book:Dreams of Joy: A Novel|9500416] from the goodreads giveaway.

But I
...more
Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)
*** I wanted to share this review because Ms. See has a new book coming out in March, I'm hoping it will be a great one :) ***

This is the follow up to Ms. See's Shanghi Girls. At the start of the story Joy learns the secret that her aunt is her true biological mother. She is angry and defiant and ha also been keeping company with idealists who believe that the "New China" sounds like a great idea.

Joy actually goes to China to find her father and in doing so gives up her US citizenship. She throw
...more
Sara
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Dreams of Joy is Lisa See’s sequel to Shanghai Girls, but that isn’t really what it is...it is really the completion of what was, for me, an incomplete story. It would be like having Gone With the Wind end when Scarlett gets back to Tara after the burning of Atlanta...you would feel cheated, because you would know there were a lot of important pieces of this story that you didn’t yet know. It just couldn’t have ended there. Everything truly important happens in GWTW after that point, your unders ...more
Gwen Haaland
This is one of my favorite books of all time! Its the powerful and satisfying conclusion to "Shanghai Girls."
Exquisitely written down to the last vivid detail in this amazing journey across 1950s China and into the heart of what it means to be a family. If you were awestruck by Lisa See's "Shanghai Girls," prepare yourself for an even finer novel with "Dreams of Joy" completing the tapestry with compelling and mesmerizing redemptive power. Great sense of place and evolution of somewhat flawed, b
...more
Spider the Doof Warrior
Jan 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica Larson-Wang
Aug 29, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
This was a phenomenal follow-up to Shanghai Girls. The themes leaped out at me -- mother-daughter, sister-sister, and overall family relationships tie this whole story together in the deepest of ways, and more than once I teared up while listening; I recently made a pretty big mistake that hurt my parents and my sister, and this turned into such a perfect read when I was searching for a way to mend things, as I listened to Joy and Pearl come back together.

While Shanghai Girls saw Pearl and May g
...more
Cheryl
In Shanghai Girls you read about the Japanese Invasion of China, and follow Pearl and her sister May as they try to escape China after their family unravels. In order to get to America, they must go through some horrific ordeals.

"Dreams of Joy" is the continuation of this book.

In this book, Pearl and her daughter, Joy are the narrators. Here, you read more about the Chinese "Great Leap Forward." While not as plot-driven and laced with conflict as Shanghai Girls was, this book is a fictional lo
...more
Agatha
Nov 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Meredith
Apr 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm thrilled that there is a sequel to Shanghai Girls! This looks good; I can't wait to read it. Just can't decide if I should buy the book or read on my Kindle!
If you have not read Shanghai Girls yet.. go get yourself a copy.

This book was so good; I'm a little bummed out that I've finished reading it.

I'm not going to recap the whole plot because so many other people have done so on their reviews. It's really about relationships within a family, and life in communist China during the 'Great Le
...more
Louise
Jun 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
On August 23, 1957, nineteen-year-old Joy, is a confused and upset Chinese girl. Everything she thought she knew about her birth has been a lie! The woman she thought was her mother was her aunt. Her aunt is actually her mother, and the man she loved as her father turns out not to have been her father at all and now he’s dead. Her “biological” father is an artist from Shanghai whom both her mother and aunt have loved since before Joy was born. His name is Li Zhi-ge or Z.G. Li Zhi-ge used to pain ...more
Kkraemer
Jun 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Initially, I thought that having Joy and Pearl return to China was such an obvious device that I was disappointed. Joy was naive, judgmental, and superficial; Pearl still critical. Not a great leap forward.

Then, it got more interesting: they arrive in 1950's China and serve as sort of tour guides through the various parts of Chinese society. Vicariously, I spent time in a commune; I spent time at banquets in Shanghai. Most interesting.

Meanwhile, quietly, the characters grow: Joy becomes a fully
...more
Celia
Writing a review about this excellent book is difficult. I just do not want to give too much away.

Joy is the daughter of May, but has been brought up by Pearl. When she finds out that the two sisters have been lying to her about who is her mother and who is her father, she leaves LA to become a Chinese socialist in Mao Zedong's Peoples Republic of China (PRC) and find her birth father.

She DOES find her birth father, Z.G. Li and visits the countryside. There she falls in love with a local farmer
...more
Ashley
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gwen
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
"Dreams of Joy" is far more powerful, compelling and altogether richer than its predecessor, Shanghai Girls. In that book, we followed sisters May and Pearl from their "beautiful girl" days in Shanghai through a perilous and life-altering escape from China, a (deliberately) long wait on Angel Island and a new life in Chinatown (Los Angeles). Dreams of Joy is a mother-daughter story, a story of idealism meeting reality, and the strength of familial bonds.

Joy flees to China when faced with a revel
...more
Irene
Dec 07, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a second in a series and I would not recommend reading it prior to reading Shanghai Girls. In the first book, two young women, sisters, leave China fleeing wartime atrocities perpetrated by the invading Japanese and family tragedy to make a home in 1930’s California. Twenty years later, one of their daughters, runs away from a family tragedy of her own back to China where she is convinced the Communist Revolution is building a more just world for all humanity. It is 1957, the start of th ...more
Book Concierge
Digital audiobook performed by Janet Song.

This is the sequel to Shanghai Girls and any synopsis, no matter how brief, will include a spoiler for anyone who hasn’t read the first book. So, I’m going to dispense with that, other than to say that this book really focuses on China and the results of the cultural revolution.

The novel gives the reader an horrific look at the Great Leap Forward and the devastating results of grandiose ideas imposed with little practical thought. The scenes of privation
...more
Ellenjsmellen
Oct 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book more than Shanghai Girls. I'm sure there will be another to come out based on the characters.
Lisa
Jun 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Lisa by: Callie
Shelves: audio
Very well written and took many twists that I was not expecting. I learned a lot about Communist China that I found interesting and want to learn more.
Adrea Pierce
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I began reading this book for two reasons. 1.) Because it fit the requirements of a challenge I’m in. 2.) Because it was there and I had enjoyed Shanghai Girls well enough. That said, I knew that this book revolved about Pearl and Joy and I just didn’t love either of them in the first book and because of this, I wasn’t in any rush to start this one.

Now that I have finished it, I would give this book 10 stars if I could.

It starts where Shanghai Girls ends. Joy has run away to Shanghai to find h
...more
Whitney
Jun 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dreams of Joy (Copied from my blog A Satisfying Affair)(Note: This review contains spoilers for Shanghai Girls by Lisa See. It would be difficult to avoid Shanghai Girls spoilers here, as Dreams of Joy is a sequel to that book, but I promise Dreams of Joy will not be spoiled here.)
 
I have been a fan of Lisa See ever since I first read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan four years ago. I’ve found all of the books by her that I’ve read well-written and engaging, and every time I read something new fro
...more
Anna
Oct 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Anna by: krys, bn
“Maybe stories and memories are destined to be incomplete...”
― Lisa See, Dreams of Joy

I'm glad I decided to read the 2 stories together since the ending of "Shanghai Girls" is the beginning of "Dreams of Joy".
It's a family saga that spans about 25 years between the two stories; it begins in Shanghai moves to LA then returns to China.
The first part in mostly the story of two sisters, Pearl and May, told by Pearl.
(tbc)

“So often, we're told that women's stories are unimportant. After all, what
...more
Lisa Gricius
Jun 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult-fiction
Lisa See is an amazing literary voice. I have read all her work and she never disappoints. Her lyrical prose transports me. I have never been so vividly transported to China before reading her most recent work, "Dreams of Joy". Dreams of Joy tells the story of Joy, a Chinese-American at the the time of the inception of Mao's Great Leap Forward. A heartbreaking tragedy and a family secret come to light sends Joy on a journey to China to find herself and her biological father. Joy is idealistic a ...more
Michael
Aug 20, 2011 rated it did not like it
If you want to read/understand about China without it being 'helped' (all pun intended towards "The Help") along by strange, stilted "orientalist" notions of how it used to be in the old times, this would NOT be the book/series to read.

As an articulate asian (from Singapore), it pains me to read such trash passing off as historic fiction/filtered through what are very much western eyes (doesn't matter if the writer knows Amy Tan or has See as a surname) and targeted to what are clearly western n
...more
Amber
Jun 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
I know there was a bigger point here, but I kept thinking "What a dumbass girl..."
Amy Meyer
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Dreams of Joy by Lisa See

Publisher: Random House
Published Date: May 31, 2011
ISBN: 978-1400067121
Pages: 368
Genre: Historical Fiction; Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Book Summary: In her beloved New York Times bestsellers Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, and, most recently, Shanghai Girls, Lisa See has brilliantly illuminated the potent bonds of mother love, romantic love, and love of country. Now, in her most powerful novel yet, she returns to these timeless themes, continu
...more
Cecilia Romiti
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: extranjeros
Cuando terminé “Shangai Girls” dudé realmente si seguir con esta segunda parte!!! Agradezco tanto haberlo hecho!! La primera novela no sería nada, en mi opinión, sin esta segunda. “Dreams of Joy” me ha dejado tocada por dentro, dolorida, impresionada. Me ha mostrado tan de cerca una realidad de China de la que era completamente ignorante al nivel de detalle con el que se cuenta. Tuve que apretarme fuerte varias veces mientras leía esta historia, sobre todo la que transcurre en la aldea rural. Ap ...more
♥Xeni♥
I didn't like this book very much at all. Mainly this was due to two issues: this was picked by my book club before I had read the book preceeding this one (Shanghai Girls Shanghai Girls by Lisa See) and I really did not identify with the main main character, Joy, at all. (Her mother, the secondary main character, was much more sympathetic to me).

Let me explain:

So this book starts out right after a huge family altercation where Joy (19 years old, of Chinese heritage, but born and raised in the U.S.) finds out that her
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Play Book Tag: Dreams of Joy / Lisa See - 3*** 7 17 Oct 09, 2017 04:42PM  
Play Book Tag: Dreams of Joy by Lisa See, 4 Stars 4 18 Jul 16, 2016 11:06PM  
RGV Book Junkies : My Book Sharing Policy 1 4 Mar 09, 2013 09:44PM  
Bookworm Bitches : November 2012: Dreams of Joy 32 266 Feb 12, 2013 04:44PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Dreams of Joy 1 2 Jun 25, 2012 04:39PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Dreams of Joy 1 2 Mar 14, 2012 06:45PM  
  • All the Flowers in Shanghai
  • Honolulu
  • How to Be an American Housewife
  • Pearl of China
  • The Street of a Thousand Blossoms
  • The Red Chamber
  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette
  • Butterfly's Child
  • Peach Blossom Pavillion
  • The Concubine's Daughter
  • The Scent of Sake
  • The Distant Land of My Father
  • The Printmaker's Daughter
  • Girl in Translation
  • The Painter From Shanghai
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)
  • My Name is Mary Sutter (Mary Sutter, #1)
43,376 followers
Lisa See is a Chinese-American author. Her books include Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (2005), Dragon Bones, and On Gold Mountain. She was named the 2001 National Woman of the Year, by the Organization of Chinese American Women. She lives in Los Angeles.

Other books in the series

Shanghai Girls (2 books)
  • Shanghai Girls (Shanghai Girls #1)
“As she spoke, I wanted to cry, because sometimes it's just so damn hard to be a mother. We have to wait and wait and wait for our children to open their hearts to us. And if that doesn't work, we have to bide our time and look for the moment of weakness when we can sneak back into their lives and they will see us and remember us for the people who love them unconditionally.” 44 likes
“Seeing something once is better than hearing about it a hundred times. Doing something once is better than seeing it a hundred times.” 30 likes
More quotes…