China Dolls

Lisa See. Random, $27 (400p) ISBN 978-0-8129-9289-2
In the beginning of See’s (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan) stellar ninth book, three young women, Grace, Helen, and Ruby, meet and form an unlikely but strong bond in San Francisco in 1938, as the Golden Gate International Exhibition is about to open. Grace has run from an abusive father in the Midwest; Helen is trapped by her traditional family in Chinatown after a devastating loss; Ruby is Japanese, desperate to pass as Chinese to stay employed as the U.S. moves closer to war with Japan. They become performers at the Forbidden City Nightclub and face the difficulty of being Asian in an Occidental world, as well as the additional conflict of prejudice within their own community. The novel spans 50 years, following the women’s tumultuous personal lives and roller-coaster career choices. Yet somehow the three always find a way back to each other, and come through for each other in the darkest of times. The story alternates between their viewpoints, with each woman’s voice strong and dynamic, developing a multilayered richness as it progresses. The depth of See’s characters and her winning prose makes this book a wonderful journey through love and loss. (June)

Reviewed on: 03/17/2014
Release date: 06/03/2014
Open Ebook - 247 pages - 978-0-679-64416-3
Compact Disc - 12 pages - 978-0-385-39415-4
Paperback - 416 pages
Paperback - 546 pages - 978-0-8041-9438-9
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4676-7690-8
Prebound-Glued - 416 pages - 978-0-606-37259-6
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