Three Asian girls — Helen, Grace and Ruby — seeking to reinvent themselves, meet as they each are auditioning for a dance club in San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1938. They instantly develop a friendship, a new experience for each of them. The story follows them through the second world war, during which the paranoia over the Japanese, as well as each of their own secrets/ghosts, almost tear them apart.
Lisa See creates a heart-wrenching experience for the reader – each character is so lovingly portrayed and it is easy for the reader to be drawn in. She also creates a real experience of the time in our history, the impact of a cruel war and its resultant prejudices on each of its individual citizens.
I heartily recommend this book – a definite “must read,” especially for those of us obsessed with historical fiction!