An exciting new novel set in the "Chop Suey Circuit" of San Francisco right before World War II, from the beloved bestselling author of Snowflower and the Secret Fan and Shanghai Girls.
In 1938, Ruby, Helen and Grace, three girls from very different backgrounds, find themselves competing at the same audition for showgirl roles at San Francisco's exclusive "Oriental" nightclub, the Forbidden City. Grace, an American-born Chinese girl has fled the Midwest and an abusive father. Helen is from a Chinese family who have deep roots in San Francisco's Chinatown. And, as both her friends know, Ruby is Japanese passing as Chinese. At times their differences are pronounced, but the girls grow to depend on one another in order to fulfill their individual dreams. Then, everything changes in a heartbeat with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Suddenly the government is sending innocent Japanese to internment camps under suspicion, and Ruby is one of them. But which of her friends betrayed her?
One of the main reasons I wanted to read and review this book is because of the time period the story was set in. One of the first things that I noticed about the way this book was written is how the “chapters” are set up. I especially liked how each “chapter” had a subtitle to each one (i.e. Ruby—The Real Chinese Girl) and I loved how the book was broken down into sections.
I loved how the three main female characters were able to talk to each other no matter if they were fighting or not. I noticed that although the women would sometimes fight they were still close to each other. There were some moments in the story where I would envy the close bonds that “Grace” “Ruby” and “Helen’ had with each other. I enjoyed reading this novel, but at the same time I felt like some of the chapters were rather longer than necessary and I dreaded trying to finish that chapter in 1 reading (sometimes I succeeded and other times I didn’t.)
I think most women would enjoy this novel and would love the bonds that hold theses three women together. I love how the author wrote this book the only thing I would like to see happen is that Ms. See made some of the chapters a little shorter than they are; other than that I think she wrote a wonderful book and I would love to read more books by her. I give this book a “B” and the Ms. See an “A.”
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Tiffany