SHANGHAI GIRLS by Lisa See, 2009. The story starts out in 1937 in Shanghai, China, the “Paris of Asia” where two young women; Pearl age 21, and May age 18 are living with their parents. Unfortunately their father gambles away all his wealth and he marries off his daughters to the man he owes money to, a first born American citizen of Chinese decent who lives in Los Angeles. The girls rebel against the instructions laid out for them to come to America after the marriages take place, and Pearl even throws away the tickets and traveling information. Meanwhile the Japanese army invades their country and the girls run away with the mother. It was a very sad story reading about all that happens to them before they reach America. I look forward to reading the rest of the book now. They had a rough time of it.
CLOUD MOUNTAIN by Amiee E. Liu, 1997. I like to read an occasional Asian love story or family drama. This writer is new to me, and I’m enjoying her work. Aimee E. Liu wrote this story of star crossed lovers based on her own grandparents lives.
This story takes place in Los Angeles. It starts out in 1941 when Hope Leon receives letter from war torn China written by her Chinese husband and father of her children whom she passionately loves. She has not seen Liang for 35 years. In 1906 Hope Newfield was a teacher of foreign students and Liang Po-Yu was her handsome student who was a scholar- revolutionary when they met and fell hopelessly in love. Bigotry, personal tragedy, the revolution and divided loyalties tested their love over and over again. The fact that it’s based on real people I find the book very interesting and thankfully well written.