Sunday 17 July 2011

Dreams of Joy

Finished July 15
Dreams of Joy by Lisa See, read by Janet Song
This book is a sequel to the earlier Shanghai Girls. Following the revelations at the end of that book, Joy is feeling guilt and shame. Her college experiences have also led her to idolize China's political changes, and she decides to go to China and search for her father, the artist Z.G. Li. She arrives just a Z.G. is going off to the countryside to "learn from real life" and teach art skills to peasants. She goes with him and finds herself drawn to a certain young man.
Pearl is also hard hit by the events at the end of the previous novel, but is worried about Joy and takes off after her. She does so with some planning though instead of running headlong like Joy. She sets up communication links and possible allies. Pearl finds herself back in her family's home in Shanghai, where things are both unchanged and changed immensely. As Pearl follows Joy, she confronts her past and finds courage for a new future.
With China imposing the Great Leap Forward, much is changing in the country as well, and these changes will have great impact on the two women.
A moving epic of a story, with lots of personal growth for both characters.

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