Dreams of Joy by Lisa See was my book club’s November pick. Sadly, only one of us had finished it at our meeting last Wednesday {it wasn’t me but I was second closest since I was on page 46}. Jamie warned us that it was a little slow to start but said once we got into it, we’d have a hard time putting it down. She was so right. Even though my new bed time is 930p, I stayed up until 11 Monday & last night just so I could finish.

This book is Lisa’s follow up to Shanghai Girls. So I might be giving away spoilers  from it just talked about Dreams, but I can’t not talk about it. I actually woke up at 4a {to pee, again} & was so haunted by the climax imaginery & scenes that I tossed & turned for 45 mins.

Set in early 1960s China, Dreams following Joy & her mother Pearl’s journey finding & reconnecting with each other & the country. While I’d read some about the Great Leap Forward in school history classes, placing Pearl, Joy & the rest of the charactiers in the middle was quite a differnent way to learn & experience this time for China. I was {& still am} shocked, appalled, & troubled by what the characters {& thus real people} went through based on the leadership they had to blindly follow.

Like other books I’ve recently read, one of the main themes was motherhood. The strong binds that tie mother to daughter. What it means to be a “family”. I loved the scenes where the women were working & talking together ~ about their history, spouse & “Little Red Sister” monthly visit. I can not imagine using a pad out of leaves alone or sand wrapped in leave {makes me all the more appreciate modern day tampons, pads & momma cloth}.

I might have given away too much. But if you’veread &  Shanghai Girls & enjoyed it, or like Chinese American literachure