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Dreams of Joy (Shanghai Girls, #2)
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Archive: Other Books > Dreams of Joy by Lisa See, 4 Stars

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message 1: by Joi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3834 comments That cliffhanger at the end of Shanghai Girls had me quickly picking up its sequel, Dreams of Joy.

I enjoyed this not only for the reasons as others, but I feel like on a very personal level as well. Joy flees to China, alone, seeking her birth father. Her mother, Pearl follows, and we follow the two intertwining stories in a search for family, whats lost, and love. As an adopted girl (whose name is also Joi...)who has also gone back to her native land, I can relate completely. Thank goodness I didn't have to deal with the hardship, chaos, and political nightmare that this Joy had to. We see the "great leap forward" in China, and the casualties this politician endeavor caused. The book is often times hard to read because of the horrors described. But well worth it, and I felt educated on the subject afterwards.

The characters are strong, and that's one of the reasons I enjoyed this book that much. Joy is strong-willed, stubborn, and naive. But that drives her through all the potentially dangerous actions she chooses. I enjoyed the family dynamic between Pearl, Joy, May, and everyone else. The story unfolds new and different layers to the family, layers in the story. We see the family becoming more complicated and complicated, but all you can do as a reader is root for them, and read what happens next.

The only reason I didn't give this 5 stars was because of the ending. See worked so hard to build these characters, it almost seems like an insult to forget everything and tie everything together perfectly with a ribbon on top. We've gone through two whole books of hardship and woe, we would have understood if the characters didn't "win" everything in the end.


Ladyslott | 1880 comments I agree with you about the ending. In addition I felt there were too many coincidences. I did rate it 4 stars and actually liked it a bit more than Shanghai Girls.


Kathy I liked this book because of the great depiction of China's Cultural Revolution. I have to admit I don't know a lot about it. It is amazing how much control Mao had over that huge country. I still get tickled over how China's moon is so much bigger than America's moon.


LibraryCin | 9081 comments I also liked this one more than Shanghai Girls. I can't recall exactly, but I'm thinking the end didn't bother me too much on this one, as I gave it 4.5 stars and it made my favourites list that year.


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