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Extended Audio Sample Dreams of Joy: A Novel Audiobook, by Lisa See Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (21,673 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lisa See Narrator: Janet Song Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2011 ISBN: 9780739359365
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In her beloved New York Times bestsellers Snow Flower and the Secret FanPeony in Love, and, most recently, Shanghai Girls, Lisa See has brilliantly illuminated the potent bonds of mother love, romantic love, and love of country. Now, in her most powerful novel yet, she returns to these timeless themes, continuing the story of sisters Pearl and May from Shanghai Girls, and Pearl’s strong-willed nineteen-year-old daughter, Joy.

Reeling from newly uncovered family secrets, and anger at her mother and aunt for keeping them from her, Joy runs away to Shanghai in early 1957 to find her birth father—the artist Z.G. Li, with whom both May and Pearl were once in love. Dazzled by him, and blinded by idealism and defiance, Joy throws herself into the New Society of Red China, heedless of the dangers in the communist regime. 

Devastated by Joy’s flight and terrified for her safety, Pearl is determined to save her daughter, no matter the personal cost. From the crowded city to remote villages, Pearl confronts old demons and almost insurmountable challenges as she follows Joy, hoping for reconciliation. Yet even as Joy’s and Pearl’s separate journeys converge, one of the most tragic episodes in China’s history threatens their very lives.

Acclaimed for her richly drawn characters and vivid storytelling, Lisa See once again renders a family challenged by tragedy and time, yet ultimately united by the resilience of love.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca Engebretson | 1/31/2014

    " Wow! I loved this book- even more than Shanghai Girls. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gretchen | 1/30/2014

    " Lisa See is a captivating author and this novel was a more than satisfactory conclusion to the story she began in "Shanghai Girls." Her subtle blending of historical information with the lives of her characters was wonderful and made me curious to know more about China under the direction of Chairman Mao and Chou En-Lai. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie Jones | 1/29/2014

    " Love historical novels so enjoyed reading about that time period in China. The story line and writing were just ok. While I'd recommend this book, I've enjoyed some of See's other novels more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandra | 1/25/2014

    " This was even better than Shanghai Girls. History very well entwined with the fiction. She has a nice list of further readings for those of us that would like to read more about Chairman Mao, the Great Leap Forward. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Angib | 1/22/2014

    " excellent - but a bit depressing after just having been in Hong Kong! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jolene | 1/10/2014

    " I guess I just enjoy this type of genre. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angie | 1/5/2014

    " This is the sequel to Shanghai Girls. It's the story of Pearl's daughter Joy. I liked it, but liked Shanghai Girls more. I cannot believe these conditions people lived in. I can't believe it has taken me this long to read these two books! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melanie | 1/2/2014

    " I loved this book, especially after reading Shanghai Girls. The historical facts were very interesting and I learned a lot about The Great Leap Forward that I never knew about. I fell in love with the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathie | 12/30/2013

    " Not as good as the first book, but still a good book. Very interesting view of life in China. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Renae | 11/26/2013

    " Shanghai Girls ended with a cliff-hanger so I thought I would give this one a try. I definitely liked Dreams of Joy better than Shanghai Girls but they were both just OK overall. There weren't as many excessive details but the ending was hurried in both books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keri | 11/20/2013

    " The author took me to China in the 1950's and made the characters come to life. Their struggles were heartbreaking, but I couldn't put the book down. Great read for lovers of historical fiction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanette | 11/19/2013

    " Her first two for different reasons were superb. She is a talent! Good story but not to the memorable level of her former books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barb | 11/11/2013

    " WOW - Lisa See does it again. Another powerful depiction of China during the Cultural Revolution and Mao's reign. The ending is a little contrived, but it is well worth the read "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Grace | 10/26/2013

    " Wonderful sequel to Shanghai Girls. in Dreams of Joy we venture back to post-Revolution China. Idealism is destroyed but there is always hope. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cathie Coulter | 10/23/2013

    " Really enjoyed the sequel to Shanghai girls. Definitely a must read if you enjoyed Shanghai girls. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melody | 6/4/2013

    " Dreams of Joy gave a really good look into the early years of communist China. It is heart-wrenching! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cindy Einhouse | 3/27/2013

    " Incredibly moving story about life in communist China when a mother risks her life to follow her idealistic and grieving daughter who is determined to join a commune there. Big thank you to Lisa See for writing this sequel to Shanghai Girls, another fantastic read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frances Pratt | 1/22/2013

    " Still a wonderfully written novel from Lisa See, but not as good as Shanghai Girls (the prequel to Dreams of Joy). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maile | 12/11/2012

    " Surprisingly a sequel that I enjoyed more than the original. Perhaps because while Shanghai Girls covered about twenty years, Dreams of Joy covers less time. This allows See to focus on the characters and their unique situation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kendal | 11/23/2012

    " I enjoyed this book even more than is predecessor! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deb Ward | 9/15/2012

    " Sequel to Shanghai Girls. Really good -- I'm enjoying it more than the 1st book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ricca | 8/23/2012

    " sequel to Shanghai Girls...good fiction set in China in the 1950's...powerful story of the horror of this period "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jamie Bryson | 4/17/2012

    " Excellent story. No loose ends. Both books kept me eager to find out what happened next. I really enjoy Lisa See as an author. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peggy Albert | 2/11/2012

    " Another winner from Lisa See. Setting is Red China in the '50's. Really made me think about how easily people are lead to their own destruction. Our freedom is so precious and we need to stay alert to protect it. Would be a good read to add to high school civics curriculum. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natalie | 1/20/2012

    " I haven't read shanghai girls, but now I'll go back and do so. Nevertheless, I was able to follow along and appreciate the story. The description of the famine was haunting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheri | 10/6/2011

    " Joy is a young girl born in the United States, but whose parents are from China. When she "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nupur | 9/29/2011

    " Not as good as Shanghai Girls. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robbi Nester | 9/7/2011

    " A very good read. See has done her homework on the period (50s in China), and offered convincing details of life in the People's Republic at that time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Betsy | 9/6/2011

    " Wow, I've enjoyed all of Lisa See's books, but this is my favorite. I want to read it again! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tracy | 8/22/2011

    " I liked this novel which is the sequel to 'Shanghai Girls'. I re-read it for Book Club. I don't think this is her best novel, but it one that has stuck with me - I randomly think about the events in the book from time to time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 6/2/2011

    " Not for the faint of heart but I loved it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angela | 5/23/2011

    " This book was way better than Shanghai Girls. I'm not exactly sure why I feel this, but I think this book was better written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 5/19/2011

    " This is a fitting conclusion to See's earlier book, The Shangai Girls. This one follows Joy, Pearl's daughter as she returns home to China to help with the communist movement. "

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About the Author
Author Lisa SeeLisa See is the New York Times bestselling author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, Shanghai Girls, China Dolls, and Dreams of Joy, which debuted at #1. Ms. See is also the author of On Gold Mountain, which tells the story of her Chinese American family’s settlement in Los Angeles. Ms. See was honored as National Woman of the Year by the Organization of Chinese American Women in 2001 and was the recipient of the Chinese American Museum’s History Makers Award in fall 2003.
About the Narrator

Janet Song is the recipient of multiple Earphones Awards and was named one of AudioFile magazine’s Best Voices of 2008. Recent audiobooks include Euna Lee’s The World is Bigger Now and Lisa See’s Shanghai Girls. She lives and works in Southern California as an actor on stage and screen.