Dreams of Joy – by Lisa See – independent book review – Fiction

A rich and deeply interesting way to understand the history of Communist China – through multiple generations of one family’s story. Awarded four stars on Goodreads.

It’s a novel about two sisters, Pearl and May (the same sisters featured in Lisa See’s earlier novel, Shanghai Girls). This time there is a long-buried family secret that comes to light, one which impacts the next generation of the family.

What was most interesting to me was the new political ideas that were shifting Chinese society in the 1950s, just after the Revolution. Because all the hope, idealism, and dedication of the revolutionaries fall short when basic human nature comes into play. Revolutionary heroes turn out to be flawed, weak and petty and, not surprisingly, love is what really matters.

Lisa See

Exceptionally well written and a pleasure to read. Since this is a sequel, I would recommend reading Shanghai Girls first.

More about Lisa See.

You may be interested in my reviews of other Lisa See novels:

Shanghai Girls

China Dolls