Shanghai Girls is a spectacular novel. It is set in the mid 1930s. The main characters, May and Pearl are beautiful, sophisticated and leading the life of luxury but all of that is about to come crashing down around them.
They are forced into arranged marriages in order to pay off their fathers debts and their lives are about to change in unimaginable ways. The Japanese drop a bomb on their city and in order to seek refuge they must travel on foot across the county side in hopes to catch a boat to America.
After much anguish and lost, they find themselves in, America. These newly arrived immigrants have much to overcome. Acclimating to their new surroundings and family proves to be difficult. They lean on one another but a long buried secret will test their family bonds.
See is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. Her writing is spectacular. She crafts vivid characters and story lines that tug at your heart. The narrative flows and your emotions will roll as the story is unveiled. This book stands out amongst historical fiction novels.
As a side note... I made the mistake of reading the sequel, Dreams of Joy first ( you can read that review here) and while it stands alone, I believe reading Shanghai Girls first will make a bigger impact on your reading experience.