I’ve heard a few people say this book was difficult to get into, at first, but I had no such problem. I just opened the book, and was irresistibly drawn into the world of pre-War Shanghai. Who doesn’t relate to the problems of the generation gap? Their mother was born into a world of bound feet and arranged marriages, whereas Pearl and May were born into a more modern, freer China. At least on the surface.
Shanghai Girls is a wonderful, emotional experience. You can feel the horrors of war, the humiliation and degradation of being Chinese in America, of being different in America at that time. I’m sure Arabs and Arab-Americans feel the same way in modern America.
I enjoyed this book very much, but I felt the ending to be much too abrupt. One is left to wonder if this otherwise marvelous book became a victim of the shelf-space massacre. This is where perfectly good books are viciously relieved of thousands of words in order to create more shelf space for booksellers.
Anyway, I digress. Shanghai Girls is an excellent read. If you’re like me, you’ll probably need a tissue towards the last few chapters. Be sure to pick this one up and enjoy.
Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars