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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

China Dolls by Lisa See

Audiobook, Published 2014

I listened to the audio version of this book. The narrator irritated me to no end. If it were not for the material covered, I would have never finished this CD. I suggest that, if you are curious, read the paper edition.

The subject matter in China Dolls was interesting: Asian-American singer/performers during the 1930's through the 1950's, covering prewar to post-war America. In particular, the author portrayed the animosity between Japanese and Chinese-Americans. She gave deference to the Chinese perspective as told by those who lived in their native country during the time Japan attacked China - very brutal. The author also included the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII - how it felt to be an American citizen ripped away from one's life and essentially jailed for the duration of the war. Thus, she illustrated an era from varying points-of-view. See also elucidated on the nature of prejudice - the fact that it exists among and between all races in varying degrees, and that we cannot seem to escape our damaging inclination. The main purpose of See's book was to make people aware of the part Asian-Americans played in the entertainment field during this time, and how it affected their traditional cultural practices and beliefs.

Overall, I enjoyed the purpose of See's story, I simply did not like its delivery. It is not one of her strongest works, but it did provide some intriguing facts about the entertainment industry, all of which were previously unknown to me. In that regard, it was a relative success.

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