11 August 2011


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. 

09 August 2011


Liz Michalski is a new author for me, and contemporary romance books are not exactly my forte, but this one caught me from the very beginning and kept me interested throughout the entire story. There were several things that I thought were excellent about this book, and a few that I found disappointing. I enjoyed the characters of Andie, Cort, Gert and Frank. In fact, from the description of the book, I expected Frank to play a bigger role and was kind of disappointed that he wasn't more prevalent. In fact, my favorite parts of the book were the parts that dealt with the story of Frank and Gert and their short circuited romance. It was a typical story of love and loss, underscoring the adage that you only live once....there are no do overs. I felt that their story was much more compelling than what was happening in the current time. Luckily for me, most of the book dealt with that story and the effect that their relationship had on everyone over the years.

I have to say, though, that I did not particularly like the ending. Not because it was not well written, or didn't fit the story, but just because I wanted it to end differently in a few areas.

All in all it was a great story that kept me interested all the way through, but with a slightly disappointing ending.