September 26

Dreams of Joy, Lisa See


Dreams of Joy

Author: Lisa See

First Edition: Random house, 2011

This edition: Kindle, 2012

Original language: English



“In her beloved New York Times bestsellers Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, and, most recently, Shanghai Girls, Lisa See has brilliantly illuminated the potent bonds of mother love, romantic love, and love of country. Now, in DREAMS OF JOY, she returns to these timeless themes, continuing the story of sisters Pearl and May from Shanghai Girls, and Pearl’s strong-willed nineteen-year-old daughter, Joy.”


“ A cup of tea on a hot day has a cooling effect”

“No thrust into the heart is greater or more harmful than that from one who says she loves you the most.”

“Sympathy is often mistaken for love.  It snares people into unhappy marriages and lives.”

“Blessing and worry, happiness and fear- this is a mother’s love.”



I really liked the continuation of Pearl and May’s story through Joy.  It was a beautiful story about mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends.  The characters that I loved from Shanghai Girls, Pearl and May, were back, and Joy’s character is deepened and more complicated. Again, the history is fantastic.  I liked the discussions about foot binding and Chinese propaganda posters.  I also like how See tends to discuss and portray history from a feminine perspective.