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China Dolls by Lisa See

China Dolls

by Lisa See

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3344533,013 (3.58)31
  1. 00
    Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford (kqueue)
    kqueue: Both books deal with Asian-Americans at the onset of World War II and the injustices they suffered along with the tensions between Japanese-Americans and Chinese-Americans.

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As usual, Lisa See does a great job describing the time period, and Oriental people were treated. I learned more about their interactions, both amongst themselves and with non-Oriental folks. My gripe, is that for me personally, it felt like it dragged a bit. I would keep trying to finish it, get a little farther, and forget about it.

It just wasn't as gripping as her previous titles. ( )
  songbirdz | Dec 7, 2014 |
great premise, disappointing execution ( )
  revliz | Nov 11, 2014 |
In 1938 three young women, Grace, Helen, and Ruby, meet and begin their quest for fame and fortune in the entertainment world in San Francisco. Getting jobs is difficult as they are of Asian background. Eventually their dancing skills land them a job with a nightclub that specializes in "Chinese girls". The tale, told in alternating voices, follows the ups and downs of their careers through the war years and after.

I started reading and I could not stop (which for me is unusual as I tend to read in spurts). Three young women of vary different personalities and backgrounds, who harbor secrets under all that glamor. A work of historical fiction that was liberally sprinkled with real names of the entertainment world, both of Hollywood and the Chinese-American nightclub circuit. When I finished I found some old videos of a few of the performers from the old Chop Suey Circuit. ( )
  punxsygal | Oct 22, 2014 |
I found this book a little YA(ish) but I still enjoyed it. The story was some what predictable, but character development was really good. ( )
  goldiebear | Oct 15, 2014 |
Lisa See is always on the top of my list when looking for women’s historical fiction. This time she takes us to San Francisco’s pre-WWII Chinatown. Three women’s lives intertwine. Grace, a runaway from the Midwest, Ruby, a Japanese girl, who is posing as Chinese, and Helen, from a wealthy Chinese family forge a friendship as they look search for jobs in the nightclub business. World War II breaks out and their friendship is strained. Although this isn’t my favorite Lisa See book, I always appreciate looking at aspects of history about which I knew nothing—in this case the “Chop Suey” entertainment circuit and the animosity between the Chinese and the Japanese during WWII. Ed Sullivan, a gossip columnist, also shows up in the books. ( )
  brangwinn | Aug 31, 2014 |
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Only three things cannot be long hidden:  the sun, the moon, and the truth.  (Attributed to Buddha)
For Henry Theodore Kendall
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I traveled west--alone--on the cheapest bus routes I could find.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 081299289X, Hardcover)

The New York Times bestselling author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony In Love, Shanghai Girls, and Dreams of Joy returns with her highly anticipated new novel. A bold and bittersweet story of secrets and sacrifice, love and betrayal, prejudice and passion, China Dolls reveals a rich portrait of female friendship, as three young women navigate the “Chop Suey Circuit”—America’s extravagant all-Asian revues of the 1930s and ’40s—and endure the attack on Pearl Harbor and the shadow of World War II.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 17 Dec 2013 00:23:03 -0500)

"In 1938, Ruby, Helen and Grace, three girls from very different backgrounds, find themselves competing at the same audition for showgirl roles at San Francisco's exclusive "Oriental" nightclub, the Forbidden City. Grace, an American-born Chinese girl has fled the Midwest and an abusive father. Helen is from a Chinese family who have deep roots in San Francisco's Chinatown. And, as both her friends know, Ruby is Japanese passing as Chinese. At times their differences are pronounced, but the girls grow to depend on one another in order to fulfill their individual dreams. Then, everything changes in a heartbeat with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Suddenly the government is sending innocent Japanese to internment camps under suspicion, and Ruby is one of them. But which of her friends betrayed her?"--… (more)

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Average: (3.58)
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2.5 2
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3.5 18
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