Dreams of Joy
By Lisa See
(Random House Trade Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780812980547, 400pp.)
Publication Date: February 7, 2012
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
In her most powerful novel yet, acclaimed author Lisa See returns to 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, 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.
Lisa See is the New York Times bestselling author of Shanghai Girls, Peony in Love, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Flower Net (an Edgar Award nominee), The Interior, and Dragon Bones, as well as the critically acclaimed memoir On Gold Mountain. The Organization of Chinese American Women named her the 2001 National Woman of the Year. She lives in Los Angeles.
- Joy is frequently described in terms of her Tiger astrological sign. In Dreams of Joy, where do you see her acting true to her Tiger nature? Where do you see her acting un-Tiger like?
“Astonishing . . . one of those hard-to-put-down-until-four-in-the-morning books . . . a story with characters who enter a reader’s life, take up residence, and illuminate the myriad decisions and stories that make up human history.”—Los Angeles Times
“[Lisa] See is a gifted historical novelist. . . . The real love story, the one that’s artfully shown, is between mother and daughter, and aunt and daughter, as both of the women who had a part in making Joy return [come] to her rescue. . . . [In Dreams of Joy,] there are no clear heroes or villains, just people who often take wrong turns to their own detriment but for the good of the story, leading to greater strength of character and more durable relationships.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“A heartwarming story of heroic love between a mother and daughter . . . No writer has better captured the voice and heart of Chinese culture.”—Bookreporter.com
“Once again, See’s research feels impeccable, and she has created an authentic, visually arresting world.”—The Washington Post
“Excellent . . . [Dreams of Joy] lives up to its predecessor’s magic.”—The Dallas Morning News
“[Lisa] See’s fans will be glad to read more about Pearl, May and Joy, and See’s recurring themes of unbreakable family bonds and strong-willed women.”—The Oregonian
“[See’s] prose rings like a temple bell.”—Los Angeles magazine
“A vivid, haunting, and often graphic portrait of a country, and a family, in crisis.”—Booklist
“See keeps her eyes focused on the women—their standing, their predicaments, their resourcefulness.”—The Seattle Times
“See’s many readers will be pleased to see the continued development of Pearl and May’s relationship. . . . [She] creates an immersive atmosphere.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Riveting, meticulously researched.”—Kirkus Reviews