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    dave eggers

    The Art Book: New Edition. Phaidon

    It is 1937; Shanghai couldn’t be more rich with character as an artist paints on a canvas two beautiful sisters laughing and sharing secrets. Pearl and May are the only siblings in their very traditional conservative wealthy Chinese family, Pearl is the year of the Dragon and May is the year of the Sheep – both sisters are very different in nature and no one is able to break or come between their bonds of sisterhood. The two girls come home, after a day of posing for calendars and flirting with boys, to find out that their Baba (Father) has sold them to marry two young men in order to pay off his debt because he has lost everything to a foolish habit of gambling and his daughters were his only bargaining chip. “I’m to be sold – traded like so many girls before me – to help my family. I feel so trapped and so helpless that I can hardly breathe.” They are to marry these young men and sail to San Francisco just a week after the wedding night to be with their new family. “When a girl, obey your father; when a wife, obey your husband; when a widow, obey your son.” That night Japan invades China, the first shots are exchanged between soldiers. “At first we thought it was fireworks … but then we saw the truth.” The journey they go through to get from China to America is horrific, and the tragedy does not stop once they settle in Los Angeles. It is a whole other world, a time of war, a time when racism was so high in this country that Chinese immigrants had to wear arm bands that read “We are not Japanese” (of course Japanese was shortened to a much more racial slur that once parted from so many American lips) just so they would be able to cross the street safely. Later on they have to be extra careful as INS interrogates neighbors and friends one by one when Communism was on the rise. Their eyes are opened to the world around them, they are no longer those “beautiful girls” on the covers of magazines; they are wives, mothers, and survivors. “People say you need to be strong, smart, and lucky to survive hard times, war, a natural disaster, or physical torture. But I say emotional abuse – anxiety, fear, guilt, and degradation – is far worse and much harder to survive.” Note to self: Do not read this book after just having watched “Deer Hunter” I probably wouldn’t have been so emotionally effected by the book if I had not have done that, but Shanghai Girls is riveting and heart wrenching, just when you think the end is near they are hit with something even more traumatic than the last. I would advice to read this book with a dear friend, someone who will be there to discuss what is happening to Pearl and May and together watch how American patriotism and the often nightmarish immigration experience unravels. “Everything always returns to the beginning.” Every reader loves when an author writes a sequel, but I am not sure if I will be able to read it. I think Lisa See left the ending exactly how it should be so it should be interesting what she has in store for us.

    30 for 30 Challenge {June}: 30 Minutes of Playing WITH Your Kids for 30 Days! (This site has a lot of activity ideas for this challenge.. starting as young as infant and up



    Read it!

    It's true.

    An amazing book which evokes all kinds of emotions - a must read


    Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth. LOVED it!!