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Dreams of Joy (Shanghai Girls #2)
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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5800 comments Dreams of Joy (Shanghai Girls #2) by Lisa See
Dreams of Joy - Lisa See
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 and starvation, of people willing to eat “anything” are disturbing and enlightening. I was already familiar with this episode in China’s recent history, but watching it unfold through these characters made is somehow “personal” and gave it much more impact. See also explores the meaning of love in this book: parent/child love, young love, love between friends, love of country.

My main problem with the book was the central character: Joy. She was so immature and naïve, so stubborn in her refusal to listen to reason, so rash in her actions ... I just wanted to throttle her. On the other hand, Pearl really shines in this story. Talk about a strong heroine!

Janet Song does a fine job narrating the audiobook. She has great pacing and a style of reading that really gives a sense of the culture. I’ve listened to other books set in China, narrated by Song, and she’s equally wonderful reading them all.

LINK to my review

LibraryCin | 8322 comments Aw, that's too bad. I think this made my favourites the year I read it. If I'm remembering correctly, I liked this one better than "Shanghai Girls".

message 3: by JoLene (new) - added it

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments My bookclub just read The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane and I liked it better than Shanghai Girls. I did pick this one up at a discount table but haven't read it yet.

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5800 comments LibraryCin wrote: "Aw, that's too bad. I think this made my favourites the year I read it. If I'm remembering correctly, I liked this one better than "Shanghai Girls"."

Joy (the character) just killed the joy (in reading) for me ... I kinda wanted (view spoiler),.

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5800 comments By the way, I think this book would fit "society" tag .... but I actually read it last month (I'm just several weeks behind in posting reviews).

message 6: by Joi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3809 comments BC, you're spoiler, hahaah!!!

I liked Joy a lot more than it sounds you guys did, but I also really WANTED to like her because she has the same name as me. But man, one bad decision after the next. I thought the book did a good job of at least explaining why she was making the decisions eh was, even if they were driven out of ignorance. I gave it 4 stars.

I think I'll enjoy anything Lisa See writes.

message 7: by Karin (last edited Oct 09, 2017 04:44PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karin | 6997 comments I don't remember what I rated this, but I remember liking it less than the first one. ETA 3 stars (as you can already see) but the first one 4 stars. My review didn't make it to GR and I am not going to search to see if it made it to LibraryThing since I haven't been going there.

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