Dreams of Joy: Book summary and reviews of Dreams of Joy by Lisa See

Dreams of Joy

A Novel

by Lisa See

Dreams of Joy
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  • Published in USA  May 2011
    368 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Lisa See continues the story of sisters Pearl and May from Shanghai Girls, and Pearl's strong-willed nineteen-year-old daughter, Joy.

Reeling from newly uncovered family secrets, and anger at her mother and aunt for keeping them from her, Joy runs away to Shanghai in early 1957 to find her birth father - the artist Z.G. Li, with whom both May and Pearl were once in love. Dazzled by him, and blinded by idealism and defiance, Joy throws herself into the New Society of Red China, heedless of the dangers in the communist regime.

Devastated by Joy's flight and terrified for her safety, Pearl is determined to save her daughter, no matter the personal cost. From the crowded city to remote villages, Pearl confronts old demons and almost insurmountable challenges as she follows Joy, hoping for reconciliation. Yet even as Joy's and Pearl's separate journeys converge, one of the most tragic episodes in China's history threatens their very lives.

Acclaimed for her richly drawn characters and vivid storytelling, Lisa See once again renders a family challenged by tragedy and time, yet ultimately united by the resilience of love.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Joy's education is a stellar example of finding new life in a familiar setup, and See's many readers will be pleased to see the continued development of Pearl and May's relationship." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Readers of historical fiction will appreciate the authentic details that See weaves into her novel. You don't have to read Shanghai Girls to love this book, but if you have, this sequel will make you want to reread its predecessor." - Library Journal

"With each new novel, Lisa See gets better and better. Each work is more tightly woven, richer with information, its characters more memorable than the last.... And so it is with Dreams of Joy." - Los Angeles Times

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Reader Reviews

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Louise J

Beautiful Story!
A beautiful story of a family challenged by tragedy and time, but ultimately united by the resilience of love. Lisa See has a remarkable ability for writing and I’ve read every book she has written and with each one she just keeps outdoing herself. This is one you won’t want to miss.

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Author Information

Lisa See Author Biography

Lisa See was born in Paris in 1955 but grew up in Los Angeles, spending much of her time in Chinatown. She is the daughter of author Carolyn See (described as a "leading literary figure of Southern California" who died in July 2016 aged 82.) Lisa's first book, On Gold Mountain: The One Hundred Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family, was a national bestseller and a New York Times Notable Book of 1995. The book traces the journey of Lisa's great-grandfather, Fong See, who overcame obstacles at every step to become the 100-year-old godfather of Los Angeles's Chinatown and the patriarch of a sprawling family.

It was while collecting the details of her family history for On Gold Mountain that she developed the idea for her first novel, Flower Net, which was ...

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Other books by Lisa See at BookBrowse
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan jacket
  • Shanghai Girls jacket
  • Peony in Love jacket

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