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Dreams of joy : a novel
Lisa See
Adult Fiction SEE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

See revisits Shanghai Girls sisters Pearl and May in this surefire story of life in Communist China. Joy, the daughter Pearl has raised as her own in L.A., learns the truth about her parentage and flees to China to seek out her father and throw herself into the Communist cause, giving See ample opportunity to explore the People's Republic from an unlikely perspective as Joy reconnects with her artist father, Z.G. Li, and the two leave sophisticated Shanghai to go to the countryside, where Z.G., whose ironic view of politics is lost on naive Joy, has been sent to teach art to the peasants. Joy, full of political vigor, is slow to pick up on the harsh realities of communal life in late 1950s China, but the truth sinks in as Mao's drive to turn China into a major agriculture and manufacturing power backfires. Pearl, meanwhile, leaves L.A. on a perhaps perilous quest to find Joy. As always, See creates an immersive atmosphere-her rural China is far from postcard pretty-but Joy's education is a stellar example of finding new life in a familiar setup, and See's many readers will be pleased to see the continued development of Pearl and May's relationship. Looks like another hit. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

This is the eagerly anticipated sequel to See's Shanghai Girls, and what a sequel it is! Continuing the story of Pearl and May Chin, who escaped the Japanese invasion of China during the 1930s, the novel centers on Joy, the daughter that both women have raised, one as aunt, one as mother. When 19-year-old Joy discovers the identity of her "real" mother, she returns to China in 1957. Readers will be drawn in as they experience Joy's life in Mao's Communist China: her life on a commune, starvation, love, oppression, and her fight to stay alive. It's this struggle for life that May and Pearl understand all too well, and it's what sends Pearl back to China. Pearl has the fierce mother love that allows her to disregard her own life to save her daughter. And that's the essential question: What makes a true mother? VERDICT Readers of historical fiction will appreciate the authentic details that See weaves into her novel. You don't have to read Shanghai Girls to love this book, but if you have, this sequel will make you want to reread its predecessor. [See Prepub Alert, 11/22/10; 14-city tour; library marketing; see the Q&A with See on p. 76.]-Marika Zemke, Commerce Twp. Community Lib., MI (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Pearl
Chinese American
May's sister and Joy's mother; determined to save her daughter; follows Joy to Shanghai hoping for reconciliation.

Chinese American
Pearl's sister.

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Pearl's daughter; angry at her mom and aunt for keeping family secrets from her; ran away to Shanghai to find her birth father, an artist;, whom she becomes fascinated with; blinded by idealism and defiance; joins the New Society of China.

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