Dreams of Joy

  • by Lisa See
  • Narrated by Janet Song
  • 15 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In her beloved New York Times best sellers Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, and, most recently, Shanghai Girls, Lisa See has brilliantly illuminated the potent bonds of mother love, romantic love, and love of country. Now, in her most powerful novel yet, she returns to these timeless themes, continuing the story of sisters Pearl and May from Shanghai Girls, and Pearl’s strong-willed 19-year-old daughter, Joy.
Reeling from newly uncovered family secrets, and anger at her mother and aunt for keeping them from her, 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.
Acclaimed for her richly drawn characters and vivid storytelling, Lisa See once again renders a family challenged by tragedy and time, yet ultimately united by the resilience of love.

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What the Critics Say

“See’s emotional themes are powerful... the bonds of sisterhood [and] the psychological journey of becoming an American.” (The Washington Post)
“A broadly sweeping tale.... The detail is thoughtful and intricate.” (The New York Times)
“[See evokes] a time and place with tantalizing detail.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Dreams of Joy and all of Lisa See's books

They are amazing but you will love this book even better if you first listen to Shanghai Girls which is the book about this girls family and there entrance into the American culture and thier struggle in the United States. The author has an amazing insight into family relationships, especially the depth between sisters.
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- maida smith

Captivating and well worth a credit

Where does Dreams of Joy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

If you have listened to the first book "Shanghai Girls" and if you liked that book, this is the sequel. In my opinion, the sequel is even better than Shanghai Girls. You will enter a world that you probably have heard of, but not really "met" in depth, such as Lisa See will introduce you too. This book enrobes part history of PROC, USA and most importantly brings you closer to understand what happens to humans when we are not allowed to be human. The book is very well researched, well written and I could not put my Ipod down! It is not predictable (whohoo)!!


What did you like best about this story?

The human aspect, the descriptions of the different characters and that is was not predictable!


Which scene was your favorite?

When Joy convinces the leader to let her send the package to her mom


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, it was - I got up this Saturday morning at 6:00 am , and I finished the remaining story at noon! What will I read next?


Any additional comments?

Excellent book, not light hearted, but not too academically hard that you can't follow the thoughts.

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- Marie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-31-2011
  • Publisher: Random House Audio