Dreams of Joy

A Novel

Publisher: Random House
In her beloved New York Times bestsellers Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, and, most recently, Shanghai Girls, Lisa See has brilliantly illuminated the potent bonds of mother love, romantic love, and love of country. Now, in her most powerful novel yet, she returns to these timeless themes, continuing the story of sisters Pearl and May from Shanghai Girls, and Pearl’s strong-willed nineteen-year-old daughter, Joy.

Reeling from newly uncovered family secrets, and anger at her mother and aunt for keeping them from her, Joy runs away to Shanghai in early 1957 to find her birth father—the artist Z.G. Li, with whom both May and Pearl were once in love. Dazzled by him, and blinded by idealism and defiance, Joy throws herself into the New Society of Red China, heedless of the dangers in the communist regime.

Devastated by Joy’s flight and terrified for her safety, Pearl is determined to save her daughter, no matter the personal cost. From the crowded city to remote villages, Pearl confronts old demons and almost insurmountable challenges as she follows Joy, hoping for reconciliation. Yet even as Joy’s and Pearl’s separate journeys converge, one of the most tragic episodes in China’s history threatens their very lives.

Acclaimed for her richly drawn characters and vivid storytelling, Lisa See once again renders a family challenged by tragedy and time, yet ultimately united by the resilience of love.

READ AN EXCERPT

THE WAIL OF a police siren in the distance tears through my body. Crickets whir in a never- ending chorus of blame. My aunt whimpers in her twin bed at the other end of the screened porch we share— a reminder of the misery and embarrassment from the secrets she and my mother threw at each other during their argument...
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READING GUIDE

1. Joy is frequently described in terms of her Tiger astrological sign. In Dreams of Joy, where do you see her acting true to her Tiger nature? Where do you see her acting un-Tiger-like?

2. Many of us grew up believing that the People’s Republic of China was “closed,” and that it remained...

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PRAISE FOR

“One of those hard-to-put down-until-four in-the-morning books . . . With each new novel, Lisa See gets better and better.”—Los Angeles Times
 
“Once again, See’s research feels impeccable, and she has created an authentic, visually arresting world.”—The Washington Post
 
“A stunningly researched epic about revolutionary-era China.”—Los Angeles
 
“See is a gifted historical novelist. She illuminates a turning point in Chinese history when people still remembered the inequities of the feudal caste system, and in some cases embodied them. . . . See is unflinching in her willingness to describe it all.”—San Francisco Chronicle
 
“See’s fans will be glad to read more about Pearl, May and Joy, and See’s recurring themes of unbreakable family bonds and strong-willed women.”—The Oregonian