dreams of joyDreams of Joy—Lisa See (2012 Fiction)

What happens when you find out that your mother is your aunt and your aunt is really your mother? It also means your father is not your father. Joy runs halfway around the world to Shanghai in 1957 in search of her real father. Lisa See, author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, returns to China to continue the story of Pearl and May (Shanghai Girls) and Joy, Pearl’s nineteen year old daughter. See’s historical novel places Joy in Communist China chasing the ideals of the New Society of Red China under the dictatorial rule of Mao. Pearl chases after her daughter, confronting the horrors of her home country, from which she had fled 20 years earlier. Two women with two dreams travel from the crowded city of Shanghai to the remote villages of the outlying country, one in search of the love of her father and the other in search of her daughter’s love. Will a mother’s love prevail? In Dreams of Joy, as well as her other novels, See reveals the influence of Amy Tan, who also explores the theme of mother/daughter relationships that is universal in all culture.

Reviewed by Leticia Garcia Bradford