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Dreams of Joy by Lisa See
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Dreams of Joy

by Lisa See

Other authors: Janet Song (Narrator)

Series: Shanghai Girls (2), May and Pearl (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,0941077,599 (4.09)93
  1. 10
    Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel by Lisa See (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Another novel of fascinating cultural detail by Lisa See.
  2. 00
    Daughter of China: A True Story of Love and Betrayal by Meihong Xu (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: More about the Cultural revolution in China. This is nonfiction.
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» See also 93 mentions

English (109)  Dutch (1)  All languages (110)
Showing 1-5 of 109 (next | show all)
I LOVED the first book, Shanghai Girls. While this book was good, it definitely was not as good as Shanghai Girls. On the plus side, it did give a lot of interesting views of China during the Great Leap Forward. The characters were interesting and the relationships were so multi-faceted and well developed. However, there were just too many far fetched scenes especially at the end where people are saved a minute before something horrible would happen to them or too many far fetched coincidences. (Trying not to give away any of the plot so I'm not writing specifics) Overall it was a good book, but definitely not as great as Shanghai Girls. ( )
  KamGeb | Jan 25, 2016 |
It kept my interest although there are parts that seem unlikely. The reader does get a good sense of what life was like behind the bamboo curtain. ( )
  Cricket856 | Jan 25, 2016 |
Pearl travels to China to track down her daughter Joy who has fled there to discover her birth father. The book gives insite into the Great Leap Forward and the starvation and deaths that occured because of it. I didn't know anything about this topic and would like to learn more. The ending of the book becomes too coincidental in order to wrap everything up. ( )
  RachelNF | Jan 15, 2016 |
A friend gave me two of her novels about China's Great Leap Forward, which I took with me on my vacation. I have read a fair amount of fiction and memoir about China's revolutionary period, so I wasn't expecting to read anything remarkably new in Lisa See or Gail Tsukiyama's work, but both
are established writers, so I anticipated that the plots and characters would be better developed than earlier work. Of the two, I really preferred Lisa See's novel, which offers her main character's firsthand account of the difficulties of the period of the Great Leap Forward, while also acknowledging the history that led up to that period. Perhaps one could argue that all of the characters in Tsukiyama's novel would likely have been sent out to the country in the following year to perform hard labor, but readers are left with the impression that everything is going to be all right, and there is no real foreshadowing of the famine that is going to take place in the following months. Her main characters all remain at some distance from the real suffering caused by Mao's policies with only a brief verbal report from the father who is in a labor camp. Will there be a bleaker sequel? ( )
  heathrel | Dec 24, 2015 |
Wasn't as good as the first book. ( )
  Jodeneg | Oct 23, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 109 (next | show all)
Although the ending betrays See’s roots in genre fiction, this is a riveting, meticulously researched depiction of one of the world’s worst human-engineered catastrophes.
added by Shortride | editKirkus Reviews (May 15, 2011)
 
With each new novel, Lisa See gets better and better. Each work is more tightly woven, richer with information, its characters more memorable than the last....And so it is with "Dreams of Joy," which picks up where "Shanghai Girls" left off, giving us the story of a young Chinese American woman's search for her father and her three-year odyssey in the People's Republic during Mao Tse-tung's Great Leap Forward. The scope of the novel is astonishing — including the ingenious ways Chinese women handled their menstrual periods and the carefully concealed and shocking stories of starvation in the communes, the suffocating collectives into which the country was divided...The novel is front-loaded with all of these revelations, and continues to move extremely quickly until the very end — one of those hard-to-put-down-until-four-in-the-morning books — but happily, the action is not all external
 
Crowd-pleaser See continues the story she began in Shanghai Girls with this compelling account of life inside the People's Republic of China during Mao's disastrous "Great Leap Forward." ...See writes vividly about China's people, places and customs; her descriptions of various state banquets will bring on hunger pangs. That such feasts were served while millions starved is a sobering history lesson in the midst of this engrossing saga about two tiger mothers of an earlier day.
 

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Lisa Seeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Song, JanetNarratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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For my father, Richard See
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The wail of a police siren in the distance tears through my body. Crickets whirr in a never-ending chorus of blame.
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A continuation of "Shanghai Girls" finds a devastated Joy fleeing to China to search for her real father while her mother, Pearl, desperately pursues her, a dual quest marked by their encounters with the nation's intolerant Communist culture.

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