I just finished reading Shanghai Girls by Lisa See, and I really, really enjoyed it. The story follows two sisters, Pearl, 20, and May, 18, who live a pampered life as "beautiful girls" in 1940s Shanghai until the Japanese attack during WW2 and the sisters are forced to endure a number of hardships, including arranged marriages and eventually the indignities of immigrating the United States at a time of extreme prejudice. I learned a lot about Chinese history and customs, the Red Scare of the 1950s, and what many newcomers to our country went through. Above all, though, this book is about the bonds of sisterhood, a relationship like no other:
"We hug but there are no tears. For every awful thing that's been said and done, she is my sister. Parents die, daughters grow up and marry out, but sisters are for life. She is the only person left in the world who shares my memories of our childhood, our parents, our Shanghai, our struggles, our sorrows, and, yes, even our moments of happiness and triumph. My sister is the one person who truly knows me, as I know her. The last thing May says to me is, 'When our hair is white, we'll still have our sister love.'"
I highly recommend both: the book, and having sisters...
Today we had lunch at TGIFriday's, and after being snippy at each other for a number of reasons the whole car ride over, I suggested that Ryan, Macauley and I name some things we know and love about each other to put us in a sweeter mood. Ryan said one thing he knows and loves about me is that I read more than anyone he knows and always have. I named Macauley's reading ability and hilarious vocabulary as some of my favorite characteristics. Reading has always been such a big part of my life, and I hope that Macauley's ability to read turns into the love of reading that I've always felt.
My next read will be Through the Heart, by Kate Morgenroth, a book I found in the Book Club section at Borders. I have work to do for the online class I teach, but I think I will settle into my bed with Booker instead (he keeps coming to the computer and giving me the "don't-you-want-to-lie-down-somewhere-and-cuddle? nose nudge), watch the new Project Runway and then start the new book. I love Spring Break.