Lisa See hit the big time with SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN back in 2005/2006.  The green paperback edition with the fan on the front graced The New York Times Bestseller list for what seemed like forever, and you couldn’t go into a bookstore without seeing it.  The book, a favorite of book clubs everywhere will be hitting the big screen this summer and sending even more fans (no pun intended) Lisa’s way.

Lisa followed SNOW FLOWER with PEONY IN LOVE and then SHANGHAI GIRLS which I must admit I had a love/hate relationship with.  But mostly because of how it ended.  I wasn’t satisfied.  I wanted more.  I wanted to know what happened to the sisters relationship and the strong-willed daughter Joy.  Little did I know that a sequel was on the way.  Phew.  Now I can finally go back to sleeping through the night.  (Alright… maybe I’m exaggerating my angst just a little).

But finally – the sequel, titled DREAMS OF JOY will be hitting shelves May 31, 2011 and hitting my Kindle the same day.  Here’s a brief synopsis from Lisa’s website:

In her beloved New York Times bestsellers Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony 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 DREAMS OF JOY, 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 and the Great Leap Forward.

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.

I’m hoping to snag an interview with Lisa about the new book for the Midtown Review podcast, so everyone please cross your fingers!

In the mean time, if you’re like me and dying to read more about the Shanghai Girls, you can pre-order the book today!

— Dana Barrett, Managing Editor