11 August 2011

DREAMS OF JOY by LISA SEE

This book was highly anticipated by me as I fell in love with Lisa See several years ago when I read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Since then I have collected all of her books, and though I have yet to read some of them, I have loved all of the ones that I have read. The most recent one to be read wasShanghai Girls, in which Joy, the main character in this book, is also present. I loved the story of Pearl and May and was anxious to read more.

This book did not disappoint. As always, this book was filled with Lisa See's wonderful prose, great characters, and amazing stories. I was captivated by the lives of the characters. I also really love the amount of research and knowledge that Ms. See puts into her books. With Snow Flower it was her detailed descriptions of the foot binding process that drew my attention. With Shanghai Girls it was the development of Chinatown in LA. With this book it is her detailed descriptions of life under Mao Tse Tung and the disconnect between the life of the Chinese authorities and that of the average Chinese citizen, especially during the Great Famine. She really made Communist China come alive for me.

This book was definitely hard to put down, from the beginning to its thrilling ending. I can't wait to see what Ms. See comes up with next, but in the meantime I will be catching up on other books by her that I have yet to read. She is a major talent in Asian literature, up there with the likes of Amy Tan and Gail Tsukiyama.