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China Dolls

A Novel
See, Lisa (Book - 2014)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
China Dolls
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"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"-- "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?"--
Authors: See, Lisa
Title: China Dolls
a novel
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, [2014]
Edition: First edition.
Characteristics: 383 pages ;,25 cm
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Summary: "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"--
"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?"--
Local Note: MDSN : 2014-01-08
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ISBN: 9780812992892
081299289X
Statement of Responsibility: Lisa See
Subject Headings: Female friendship Fiction. Chinese American women Fiction. Japanese American women Fiction. Betrayal Fiction. World War, 1939-1945 California Fiction. Chinatown (San Francisco, Calif.) Fiction.
Genre/Form: Historical fiction.
Topical Term: Female friendship
Chinese American women
Japanese American women
Betrayal
World War, 1939-1945
LCCN: 2013050796
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Did not care for this book - did not finish it. I found the dialogue stilted and formulaic - hard to believe they talked the way author portrays them as talking in the thirties - "I so wanted to hit her." Really?

Oct 01, 2014
  • booklady413 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Lisa See writes about friendship and being Asian in an unfriendly pre-war 1938 era in America. Ruby, Grace and Helen are dancers at the Forbidden Garden, a club primarily for Asians. As WWII approaches and begins with Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, secrets will be revealed, lives changed and friendships tested. An enjoyable and enlightening experience.

Aug 14, 2014
  • occy rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I really enjoyed this novel. Definitely one of those "hard to put down" reads.

This descriptive, richly detailed novel introduces three Asian-American nightclub performers in San Francisco's Chinatown. Grace, a talented dancer, has fled both her sleepy Midwestern hometown and her abusive father; Helen, a recent arrival from China, feels as free on stage as she feels trapped by the traditional lifestyle of her family; and Ruby is Japanese but determined to hide her ethnicity in order to protect herself as hostilities between the U.S. and Japan escalate. As the trio navigates the "Chop Suey Circuit," their friendship will be put to the test by secrets, betrayal, and a world at war.
Historical Fiction July 2014 Newsletter.

Jul 15, 2014
  • finn75 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I love Lisa See's novels. She tells a great story about female experiences and relationships. This book is no different. A very interesting story of the lives of three very different women in the entertainment business in the 30's and 40's when racism was the norm.

Jul 11, 2014
  • aisha65 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

l loved this book. I have also read several of Lisa See's other novels and have enjoyed them as well.

Jul 11, 2014
  • writermala rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I'm a huge fan of Lisa See, and her latest book "China Dolls" did not disappoint. Ruby, Grace, and Helen tell their stories of friendship, betrayal, and love in a really poignant way and it is quite heart-rending. The historical issues dealt with like discrimination, war, and internment are handled well. All in all a very well told story. If you are already a Lisa See fan you will love this novel. If you have never read Lisa See before, this is a great place to start - you will end up reading all her other novels too!

Jul 10, 2014
  • alexica rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I founf this book very disappointing. The writing was awkward and the plot elements rather unbelievable. The women seemed to act unnaturally, more to move the plot along than have their stories unfold. I'm a fan of Amy Tan and Maxine Hong Kingston was was hoping for more vivid writing and engaging characters. See's topic is terrific. I just wish the book fulfilled it's promise.

China Dolls spotlights the undertold story of Asian-American entertainers during the 1930s and 1940s through the story of a trio of women who become a complex constant in one another's lives. China Dolls shines in its portrayal of female friendships - messy, but long-lasting. The novel's historical and cultural details illustrate the prejudices of the time, while the girls' journey fills the reader with intrigue, joy, disappointment, and courage.

Jul 08, 2014
  • kindrabirss rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I wanted to love this one, because I love Lisa See's writing and have read most of her other books. I found it lacking however. It's typical Lisa See in that she explores the relationships between women of Chinese descent and how their actions and choices affect their own futures, but I wasn't moved to connect with the characters. It felt like she was rushing a bit in her storytelling. I still read and enjoyed it, but not in the same "couldn't put it down, loved those characters" sort of way. Also after reading a few Lisa See books in a row, I was able to predict outcomes and patterns in her writing, so as the story unfolded there were no surprises.

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Jun 21, 2014
  • SpringAltman rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Three young women of Oriental descent become friends thru the turmoil of late 1930 thru post war 1940. The story follows the twists and turns of their relationships with each other, their reunions, their falling outs, their betrayals and their re-evaluations of each other.
It also gives a historical account of what life was like for Americans of Chinese and Japanese descent during this time period

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app09 Version Arkelstorp Last updated 2014/10/23 09:41