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China Dolls
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April 2018: Strong Women > China Dolls / Lisa See. 4 stars

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LibraryCin | 9055 comments It’s 1938. Grace is from small-town Ohio, where she and her parents were the only Orientals, though her parents brought her up to be completely American, and has left her abusive home to go to San Francisco to try out as a dancer at an expo. While trying to find her way around Chinatown, she meets Helen, who was raised in a very traditional Chinese family/home. She convinces Helen to come with her to try out, as well. At the tryouts, they meet Ruby, another dancer, who wants to become famous. They become friends and live through WWII trying to make ends meet as entertainers in the Oriental clubs, and later on, touring the “Chop-Suey Circuit”.

I really liked this! I have to admit, I liked Grace best of the three girls, and I found her story the most interesting. The book is told in alternating chapters from each of the girls’ points of view. Each chapter is titled with the girl’s name, so I was able to follow this quite easily. It was really interesting to learn about the Chinese entertainers from the time period.


message 2: by Joi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3834 comments Lisa See us one of those writers who I'll probably read just about anything they write.


LibraryCin | 9055 comments Yeah, I think I've read most of hers now... I should double check! :-)


message 4: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments Lisa See wrote Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, correct? I loved that book so much that I am terrified to read anything else by her because I know nothing else will measure up.


LibraryCin | 9055 comments Nicole R wrote: "Lisa See wrote Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, correct? I loved that book so much that I am terrified to read anything else by her because I know nothing else will measure up."

Yes. I think it's the book I've read by her that I've rated the lowest (going on memory, but I think I gave it 3.5 stars "good"). I wonder if that was due to all the hype? I am definitely in a minority on that, though.

There are people who didn't like this one, as well, and I can see the reasoning.


LibraryCin | 9055 comments I just checked. I rated "Snow Flower" and "Peony in Love" both 3.5 stars. I liked this one, Shanghai Girls, and Dreams of Joy better.


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