Crayon Chick » An indie business of old crafts and new tricks, designer/maker, artist and keen on elevenses.

Book Club

It’s nearly midnight, and I have to ask why am I still up. Again. Especially when I have the most fabulous book to read at the moment. I’m loving it so far. Shanghai Girls, by Lisa See.

I’ve only read the first chapter and have become a little obsessed with the girls. May and Pearl are sisters in 1930s Shanghai, they work as Beautiful Girls and pose in their cheongsams for artists who paint those fabulous calenders advertising everything from cigarette holders to powdered baby formula. The Japanese have just invaded Shanghai, the girls father lost everything they own gambling and sold the girls into an arranged marriage to cover his debts. They managed to give their news husbands the flick, and are on the run with their poor mamma with her bound feet from the mafia-esque Green Gang who want to trade them to cover their miserable father’s losses.

Isn’t that a fabulous start! Growing up it was hard to know anything about modern China from the 1920s revolution, Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution and now it’s hard to turn around in a bookshop without knocking over a great pile of books from these times written by chinese ex-pats. And a great collection now live in my very own bookshelf. I’m fascinated with these stories.
Oh, it can’t be that late already, I’ll just read one more chapter before turning off the light ………

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