Honestly, I finished this one awhile ago (maybe a month or so?) and kept forgetting to stop by here with a review. I felt pretty much the same as both of you. I enjoyed the cultural/historical stuff – especially before the war in Shanghai and even when they first got to California (we so often only hear about the Ellis Island side of immigration). The big problem was that I never connected with either of the girls or their family (other than thinking Joy was going to end up being a spoiled brat at some point). So when the story went from being all encompassing – life, culture, history, and characters – to being mostly character focused (on Pearl) , I found myself loosing interest. I don’t think the author dug deep enough into what made the characters who they were. If we hadn’t been told and told again and again their relationships to each other, I’m not sure I could have figured it out on my own. So overall, it wasn’t that I didn’t like the book, it’s that I was disappointed because I thought it could have been more than it was.
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