China Dolls

China Dolls

A Novel

Book - 2014
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In 1938, Ruby, Helen and Grace, three girls from very different backgrounds, find themselves competing at the same audition for showgirl roles at San Francisco's exclusive "Oriental" nightclub, the Forbidden City. Grace, an American-born Chinese girl has fled the Midwest and an abusive father. Helen is from a Chinese family who have deep roots in San Francisco's Chinatown. And, as both her friends know, Ruby is Japanese passing as Chinese. At times their differences are pronounced, but the girls grow to depend on one another in order to fulfill their individual dreams. Then, everything changes in a heartbeat with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Suddenly the government is sending innocent Japanese to internment camps under suspicion, and Ruby is one of them. But which of her friends betrayed her?
Publisher: New York : Random House Large Print, [2014]
Edition: First large print edition
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780804194389
0804194386
Branch Call Number: Lg Print Fiction See
Characteristics: 546 pages (large print) ; 24 cm
large print

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v
veronicai
Oct 17, 2018

Interesting reading.

m
Mouziey
Dec 19, 2017

Interesting enough everyone of the characters were "passing" as someone else and never wanted to be true self: all three girls, Eddie, Joe, Charlie, Ivy, Japanese interment camps, even Helen half bred son. That is the take away and the back drop is all the beautiful scenery of Treasure Island, Chinatown, Forbidden City nightclub, Choy Suey circuit, Locked up as a victory girl and getting examined for STDs. True even as little kids Chinese White Black Native Indian; we all wanted to pass for something not as the true self we are now as old people I appreciate the non passing part. I am just me. Thank you

j
Jodi George Lopez
Aug 04, 2017

I liked this book and found it different than what I usually read..The book intrigued me and as I read it flowed well and the characters were seemingly real people...Easy to read and fast..

ArapahoeMaryA Jul 30, 2017

This historical fiction novel follows the lives of three young Asian women who become performers in San Francisco’s “Chop Suey Circuit” during the WWII era. While I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about this slice of history, I had a tough time investing in the characters because their relationship becomes so entangled in secrets, betrayal and cutthroat competition. Frankly, I was a little relieved when their story drew to a close.

c
cemetery613
Jan 02, 2016

I enjoyed this book. Well written. History that I was totally unaware of. Well worth the read.

not well written and not a good in-depth portrait of immigrant Asian women trying to make it in America's frenetic pre WWII culture. Interesting plot, too bad it was so poorly written.

booklady413 Oct 01, 2014

Lisa See writes about friendship and being Asian in an unfriendly pre-war 1938 era in America. Ruby, Grace and Helen are dancers at the Forbidden Garden, a club primarily for Asians. As WWII approaches and begins with Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, secrets will be revealed, lives changed and friendships tested. An enjoyable and enlightening experience.

s
singasong70
Sep 25, 2014

Did not care for this book - did not finish it. I found the dialogue stilted and formulaic - hard to believe they talked the way author portrays them as talking in the thirties - "I so wanted to hit her." Really?

o
occy
Aug 14, 2014

I really enjoyed this novel. Definitely one of those "hard to put down" reads.

ChristchurchLib Jul 24, 2014

This descriptive, richly detailed novel introduces three Asian-American nightclub performers in San Francisco's Chinatown. Grace, a talented dancer, has fled both her sleepy Midwestern hometown and her abusive father; Helen, a recent arrival from China, feels as free on stage as she feels trapped by the traditional lifestyle of her family; and Ruby is Japanese but determined to hide her ethnicity in order to protect herself as hostilities between the U.S. and Japan escalate. As the trio navigates the "Chop Suey Circuit," their friendship will be put to the test by secrets, betrayal, and a world at war.
Historical Fiction July 2014 Newsletter.

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SpringAltman Jun 21, 2014

Three young women of Oriental descent become friends thru the turmoil of late 1930 thru post war 1940. The story follows the twists and turns of their relationships with each other, their reunions, their falling outs, their betrayals and their re-evaluations of each other.
It also gives a historical account of what life was like for Americans of Chinese and Japanese descent during this time period

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