NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A fascinating portrait of life as a Chinese American woman in the 1930s and ’40s.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Superb . . . This emotional, informative and brilliant page-turner resonates with resilience and humanity.”—The Washington Post (One of the Best Books of the Year)
San Francisco, 1938: A world’s fair is preparing to open on Treasure Island, a war is brewing overseas, and the city is alive with possibilities. Talented Grace, traditional Helen, and defiant Ruby, three young women from very different backgrounds, meet by chance at the exclusive and glamorous Forbidden City nightclub. The girls become fast friends, relying on one another through unexpected challenges and shifting fortunes. When their dark secrets are exposed and the invisible thread of fate binds them even tighter, they find the strength and resilience to reach for their dreams. But after the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, paranoia and suspicion threaten to destroy their lives, and a shocking act of betrayal changes everything.
Praise for China Dolls
“A sweeping, turbulent tale of passion, friendship, good fortune, bad fortune, perfidy and the hope of reconciliation.”—Los Angeles Times
“Bravo! Here’s a roaring standing ovation for this heartwarming journey into the glittering golden age of Chinese nightclubs.”—Jamie Ford, author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
“Lisa See masterfully creates unforgettable characters that linger in your memory long after you close the pages.”—Bookreporter
“Stellar . . . The depth of See’s characters and her winning prose make this book a wonderful journey through love and loss.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A great read
The different perspectives was awesome, and I very much enjoyed this novel.
Not very good for me.
The characters were so real and written well. Again I must say Lisa See does an amazing job at describing the scene yet keep it moving. I hate it when authors spend endless pages on descriptions. However See balances it out very well. It was a good read that I finished in a mater of days. Even with a busy schedule. I recommend this to anyone into Chinese American drama, people, and culture.