For those of you that don’t already know, my Mom is an avid reader, and every once in awhile writes guest posts for my blog. In another week, my entire family will get together (from near and very far) to celebrate her 90th birthday. This is a “party” she planned herself — to have us be there to help her celebrate becoming part of what she calls the “90s club.” Today she sent me an email response to my question, “What are you up to this week?” I’m publishing her answers as a Guest Post from Mom.
I’ve been away. Well. Not actually away. Away in the pages of a book — Lisa See’s historical novel, Shanghai Girls. All around me there are things needing to be done but they can wait. I’ll get to them but impossible until I finished reading Lisa See’s novel Shanghai Girls. I read her novel Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, a New York Times best seller, several years ago and knew her writing would capture me again.
The story begins in Shanghai in 1937 when Shanghai was considered the “Paris of Asia”. Pearl, twenty-one years old, and her younger sister, May, are happy with the opportunities their beauty assures them. The sisters are described as “beautiful, modern, and carefree.” Their father runs a successful rickshaw business but gambles away the family’s wealth. When the Japanese bomb Shanghai, they escape to the countryside and their lives are forever changed. Pearl is the sign of the Dragon, strong and stubborn. May is a true sheep, adorable and placid. Their differences create chaos in their lives, but in the end May says to Pearl, “When our hair is white, we’ll still have our sister love.”
Now that I’ve closed the book, I come reluctantly back into my world.