Friends of a Lifetime


Caroline Young, artwork and text

From the Lisa See bestseller, “Shanghai Girls”

In 1937, the beautiful sisters Pearl and May Chin became the toast of pre-war Shanghai.

Born to a wealthy family, they were carefree, modern and pampered ― until the day they were sold by their father into marriage to suitors from Los Angeles in order to repay his gambling debts. Before they can depart for America, the Japanese army invades China, and the sisters are forced to flee their beloved Shanghai.

Inseparable best friends, they have only each other as they endure the terror and brutality of the hostile invaders, only to escape and face bigotry and hostility once they reach America. Despite petty rivalries, their love and friendship for each other gave them the strength and courage to overcome adversities and build a successful new life in their adopted homeland.

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As an adopted child of Chinese-American expatriates, I have always been intrigued by how the Chinese culture explained the mysteries of the universe.