Wednesday, February 28, 2018

CHINA: Let's Discuss CHINA DOLLS by Lisa See

At the beginning of the month, I announced that I would be reading CHINA DOLLS by Lisa See in honor of Reading the World here at Book Bloggers International.  I listened to this book all. month. long. because of the craziness of the month, but I did enjoy the story overall.  If you have read the book, this month or previously, let's chat about the story in order to wrap up our month of travels to China.  Feel free to answer any or all of the questions in the comment section below, or just leave general comments.  It's your choice!


Lisa See begins her novel with this poem . . .
“Only three things cannot be long hidden:
the sun
the moon
and the truth.”
Secrets are frequently revealed throughout the story, some very late in the tale.  Which secret surprised you the most?  Were there any that upset you?  Why?

The story begins from Grace's point of view; her leaving Plain City, Ohio, to escape the abuse of her father.  We eventually learn the truth behind her father's behavior.  Did you feel this truth was sufficient for forgiveness?  How did the abuse affect Grace's relationships with men after she left?

Ruby is a character very different from Grace, yet they became friends.  What was your initial reactions to Ruby?  Did they change as the story continued?  How were Ruby and Grace similar, despite their differences?

Helen was raised a traditional Chinese woman, and she frequently was heard to be sharing traditional Chinese sayings.  Is there one that stands out to you?  How does her friendship differ from Grace and Ruby?  How did sharing her past change the friendship, or even the reader's perspective on Helen?

Overall, what were your thoughts about the novel?  Would you recommend it to a friend?


Despite our travels to China this month, CHINA DOLLS keeps us here in the United States.  We get the perspective of China (and Japan) from those within American culture.  What novels do you recommend that take place in China, whether written by Lisa See or not?