I love any story that involves sisters. These two girls, Pearl and May, find themselves in good times and bad times, from Shanghai to San Francisco and Los Angeles. The author Lisa See calls this book a historical novel. Some of the characters were true-to-life people. The rest were based on actual people. The book is well-researched, based on actual transcripts of people who had gone through the pains of being quarantined at the Angel Island center for immigration and who had experienced Chinatown in Los Angeles in the early to mid 1900's.