Monday, September 6, 2010

Review: Shanghai Girls

I finally finished Shanghai Girls by Lisa See.

I started it way back in February.  It normally doesn't take me so long to finish a book, and in no way should reflect the quality of the book.  I love Lisa See and this book was no exception.

This book is supposed to be about two sisters bond.  And it is that.  I don't have a sister, so I can't really attest to the authenticity of it.  Seemed authentic to me.  The part I really wanted to focus on was the portion about illegal immigration.

Lisa See has said many times she did a lot of resesarch for this book, so while not necessarily historically accurate for every detail, it is supposed to have a ring of truth to it.  Again, I'm not a historian so I can't comment on that.

With the current illegal immigration events, this part really struck me.  Without giving too much away, I was simply surprised that the entire issue of illegal immigration is over 100 years old.  We haven't figured out how to deal with people who want to come to this country in mass yet - what is it going to take?  I really don't have any solutions. 

I fully understand some people live in countries where their living situations are deplorable and they do not have the ability to fix it.  I also understand that the US has the means to help these people and these countries, but that many don't want our help.  So how do we as a country balance that and protect ourselves at the same time?  Such a tricky situation, no wonder the entire country is divided.

I have no idea if Lisa See intended to be political, but I think she did an excellent job at pointing out the complexity of the issue without really promoting a political agenda.

I highly recommend the book.  The culture and history involved make it superb, as usual.

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