Dreams of Joy is the sequel to Lisa See's Shanghai Girls. It is the continuing story of Pearl, May, and their daughter, Joy. Having discovered that she is really May's child and that her family has been lying to her, Joy runs from her home in America to find her birth father in China. She also wants to become part of the national reconstruction of the People's Republic of China (in 1957). Pearl is forced to follow Joy in an attempt to save her.
This book gave an interesting look at China's history under the Communist regime at that time. This also gave the much needed rest of the story that we were lacking at the end of Shanghai Girls. Things pick up where they left off, and we are no longer left hanging. Although most of the backstory is explained, I would recommend that anyone planning to read this first read Shanghai Girls because several characters that appear won't have the same significance to those who aren't familiar with the first book. I also don't think that the relationship between Pearl and May will be easy to understand without their earlier story.
I really liked this book. The history was fascinating as it always is in Lisa See's books. Joy's character frustrated me, but it was interesting to see her change as things went on. I would rate it a 4/5, but don't skip that first book!