The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Brief Review: ‘China Dolls’ by Lisa See

China DollsChina Dolls by Lisa See
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“China Dolls” is another strong, meticulously researched book by Lisa See that brings to life another segment of Chinese culture in the U.S. that may have been unknown to those of us who weren’t old enough to know about the oriental nightclubs in San Francisco’s Chinatown and those scattered across the U.S. on the “Chop Suey Circuit.”

The book features three strong characters, Grace, Helen and Ruby who meet each other while trying to make their way, first as pony girls (dancers in the line) and then as potential headliners at San Francisco’s Forbidden City. Each one has a past, secrets, and a wont to get ahead. Their friendship will be tested time and time again, especially during the World War II years.

Looking at the book’s acknowledgements, one can see the research See did and know why this book reads true and is a pleasure to read.

–Malcolm

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