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China Dolls

China Dolls

Author(s): Lisa See

Location(s): San Francisco

Genre(s): Fiction, Historical

Era(s): Lae 1930s

Location

Content

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It’s 1938 and the exclusive Oriental nightclub in San Francisco’s Forbidden City is holding auditions for showgirls. In the dark, scandalous glamour of the club, three girls from very different backgrounds stumble into each other lives.

All the girls have secrets. Grace, an American-born Chinese girl, has fled the Midwest and an abusive father. Helen is from a Chinese family which has deep roots in San Francisco’s Chinatown. And, as both her friends know, Ruby is Japanese passing as Chinese.

Then, in a heartbeat, everything changes. The Japanese attack Pearl Harbor and paranoia, suspicion, and a shocking act of betrayal, threaten to destroy their lives.

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Lead Review

An interesting piece of fiction about culture in 1930s America and what it meant to be Asian at that time.

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