Friday, August 27, 2010
Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
Sisters Pearl and May Chin are beautiful girls in 1937 Shanghai, living it up and having the time of their lives, until their father loses all their wealth and can't pay his gambling debts. He sells the girls to brothers who have come to China from Los Angeles in search of wives. When Japan invades China and war breaks out, the girls set out on a journey to America. It is a pretty good story, but I was disappointed in the way it was written. The entire novel was written in first person present tense (Pearl is the narrator), and it seemed to be just a listing of events (almost "this happened, and then this happened, etc."). And the author spent more time telling us what happened than showing us. I didn't used to understand the difference until I read this blog post by Vivian Swift. I rate this book 3 out of 5.