The "New York Times" bestselling author of "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, "and" Shanghai Girls" has garnered international acclaim for her great skill at rendering the intricate relationships of women and the complex meeting of history and fate. Now comes Lisa See's highly anticipated new novel, "China Dolls."
It's 1938 in San Francisco: a world's fair is preparing to open on Treasure Island, a war is brewing overseas, and the city is alive with possibilities. Grace, Helen, and Ruby, three young women from very different backgrounds, meet by chance at the exclusive and glamorous Forbidden City nightclub. Grace Lee, an American-born Chinese girl, has fled the Midwest with nothing but heartache, talent, and a pair of dancing shoes. Helen Fong lives with her extended family in Chinatown, where her traditional parents insist that she guard her reputation like a piece of jade. The stunning Ruby Tom challenges the boundaries of convention at every turn with her defiant attitude and no-holds-barred ambition.
The girls become fast friends, relying on one another through unexpected challenges and shifting fortunes. When their dark secrets are exposed and the invisible thread of fate binds them even tighter, they find the strength and resilience to reach for their dreams. But after the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, paranoia and suspicion threaten to destroy their lives, and a shocking act of betrayal changes everything.
Advance praise for "China Dolls"
""China Dolls" mines a fascinating part of our cultural history through the story of a trio of women who become a complex constant in one another's lives even as the world serves up painful transformation. Lisa See gets so much just right here. You'll want to dive right in."--Paula McLain, "New York Times" bestselling author of "The Paris Wife"
"This is one of those stories I've always wanted to tell, but Lisa See beat me to it, and she did it better than I ever could. Bravo! Here's a roaring standing ovation for this heartwarming journey into the glittering golden age of Chinese nightclubs."--Jamie Ford, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Songs of Willow Frost"
"In the beginning of See's stellar ninth book, three young women, Grace, Helen, and Ruby, meet and form an unlikely but strong bond in San Francisco in 1938. . . . The story alternates between their viewpoints, with each woman's voice strong and dynamic, developing a multilayered richness as it progresses. The depth of See's characters and her winning prose make this book a wonderful journey through love and loss.""--Publishers Weekly" (starred review)
Praise for "Dreams of Joy"
"Astonishing . . . one of those hard-to-put-down-until-four-in-the-morning books . . . a story with characters who enter a reader's life, take up residence, and illuminate the myriad decisions and stories that make up human history."--"Los Angeles Times"
"[Lisa] See is a gifted historical novelist. . . . [In "Dreams of Joy, "] there are no clear heroes or villains, just people who often take wrong turns to their own detriment but for the good of the story, leading to greater strength of character and more durable relationships.""--San Francisco Chronicle"