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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times bestselling author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, and Shanghai Girls has garnered international acclaim for her great skill at rendering the intricate relationships of women and the complex meeting of history and fate. Now comes Lisa See's highly anticipated new novel, China Dolls.
It's 1938 in San Francisco: A world's fair is preparing to open on Treasure Island, a war is brewing overseas, and the city is alive with possibilities. Grace, Helen, and Ruby, three young women from very different backgrounds, meet by chance at the exclusive and glamorous Forbidden City nightclub. Grace Lee, an American-born Chinese girl, has fled the Midwest with nothing but heartache, talent, and a pair of dancing shoes. Helen Fong lives with her extended family in Chinatown, where her traditional parents insist that she guard her reputation like a piece of jade. The stunning Ruby Tom challenges the boundaries of convention at every turn with her defiant attitude and no-holds-barred ambition.
The girls become fast friends, relying on one another through unexpected challenges and shifting fortunes. When their dark secrets are exposed and the invisible thread of fate binds them even tighter, they find the strength and resilience to reach for their dreams. But after the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, paranoia and suspicion threaten to destroy their lives, and a shocking act of betrayal changes everything.
©2014 Lisa See (P)2014 Random House Audio
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Critic Reviews

"China Dolls mines a fascinating part of our cultural history through the story of a trio of women who become a complex constant in one another's lives even as the world serves up painful transformation. Lisa See gets so much just right here. You'll want to dive right in." (Paula McLain, New York Times best-selling author of The Paris Wife)
"This is one of those stories I've always wanted to tell, but Lisa See beat me to it, and she did it better than I ever could. Bravo! Here's a roaring standing ovation for this heartwarming journey into the glittering golden age of Chinese nightclubs." (Jamie Ford, New York Times best-selling author of Songs of Willow Frost)
"In the beginning of See's stellar ninth book, three young women, Grace, Helen, and Ruby, meet and form an unlikely but strong bond in San Francisco in 1938. . . . The story alternates between their viewpoints, with each woman's voice strong and dynamic, developing a multilayered richness as it progresses. The depth of See's characters and her winning prose make this book a wonderful journey through love and loss." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Barbara on 06-25-14

New Narrator needed!

What did you like best about China Dolls? What did you like least?

I enjoyed the story, but felt the performance had more potential. The narrator's interpretation and tone were inconsistent with what I feel the author was trying to share. She often sounded annoyed and had sarcastic edge to her voice, which took away from attaching to the characters.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful


By Michal on 06-21-14

Needed a different reader

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No. The reader read too slow, and I found my mind wandering at numerous places during the story. I've loved all the books by Lisa See, and I was so eager for this book to come out that I had it on my Outlook. But this story just seemed to lack something.

Would you be willing to try another book from Lisa See? Why or why not?

Maybe, but not from this reader.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jodi Long?

janet Song did a great job on the previous books, but I really think the pace of the reading was the problem.

Was China Dolls worth the listening time?

Not really. I should have waited for some of the other reviews to post.

Any additional comments?

I truly believe that Lisa See was trying to portray an important time in our history, and I did find that interesting. I can't really comment on how I would have felt if I had actually READ the book instead of listening to this reader. I'll have to check Amazon for other's opinions on the book. For me, it was the reader that ruined this book.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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