10 best lisa see books You Must Read 2023 (Updated)

Which Are The Best Books Written By Lisa See?

Lisa See is an author from the USA. She is known for her novels exploring Chinese-American culture and relationships, often set in historical periods. 

She was born in Paris, France, and grew up in Los Angeles, California, where her Chinese-American heritage played a significant role in shaping her identity and interests.

She is perhaps best known for her fiction works, “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan,” “Shanghai Girls,” and “The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane.”

Her novels often focus on the experiences of Chinese-American women, exploring the themes of identity, cultural conflict, and the immigrant experience.

Her work has received widespread critical acclaim and has been translated into over 30 languages. 

Here is the list Of The Top 10 Best Lisa See Books…!

List of 10 Best Lisa See Books You Must Read

  1. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
  2. Shanghai Girls
  3. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane
  4. The Island of Sea Women
  5. Peony in Love
  6. On Gold Mountain
  7. Dreams of Joy
  8. The Interior
  9. Flower Net
  10. Dragon Bones

I have prepared this list of 10 Best books written by Lisa See, by reading the books and considering other readers review.

1. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (2005)

Set in 19th-century China, “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” tells the story of two women, Snow Flower and Lily, who develop a deep and lasting friendship.

They communicate through a secret language known only to women, and their relationship is put to the test by societal expectations, personal struggles, and historical events.

This is one of See’s most popular books and a New York Times bestseller. 

Get the book here: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

2. Shanghai Girls (2009)

Set in the 1930s, “Shanghai Girls” follows sisters Pearl and May as they leave their privileged lives in Shanghai and immigrate to Los Angeles.

There, they face discrimination and hardship as they struggle to adapt to the American culture and support their family. 

“Shanghai Girls” explores the themes of identity, family, and the immigrant experience and is known for its vivid portrayal of the Chinese-American community during the said time period.

Get the book here: Shanghai Girls

3. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane (2017)

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane,” tells the story of Li-yan, a young girl from a remote village in China who is separated from her mother and raised by adoptive parents in California. 

As an adult, she becomes involved in the tea industry and reconnects with her cultural roots. 

“The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane” is a poignant exploration of identity, motherhood, and the power of tradition. It has been praised for its vivid depiction of tea culture in China.

Get the book here: The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

4. The Island of Sea Women (2019)

The Island of Sea Women takes place on the Korean island of Jeju and follows the lives of two young women Mi-ja and Young-sook, who are members of a female diving collective called the haenyeo

However, as Korea undergoes political upheaval and the island becomes a site of military conflict, Mi-ja and Young-sook are forced to confront the many challenges faced by their community. 

“The Island of Sea Women” is a powerful and moving exploration of friendship, history, and the enduring strength of women.

Get the book here: The Island of Sea Women

5. Peony in Love (2007)

Set in 17th-century China, “Peony in Love” follows the story of Peony, a young woman who falls in love with a revolutionary writer and becomes obsessed with his work. 

Peony’s love for literature leads her on a spiritual journey, and she ultimately discovers the power of self-expression. 

“Peony in Love” is a haunting exploration of love, loss, and the female psyche and has been praised for its lyrical prose.

Get the book here: Peony in Love

6. On Gold Mountain (1995)

This memoir tells the story of Lisa See’s Chinese-American family, starting with her great-grandfather’s journey to California during the Gold Rush. 

On Gold Mountain” is a fascinating exploration of the Chinese-American experience and has been praised for its detailed portrayal of the See family’s history and culture.

Get the book here: On Gold Mountain

7. Dreams of Joy (2011)

Dreams of Joy is a sequel to “Shanghai Girls.” The novel follows Joy, one of the sisters, as she returns to China during the Cultural Revolution. Joy becomes involved in Mao’s movement but soon realizes the true cost of her ideals. 

“Dreams of Joy” is a heart-wrenching exploration of family, sacrifice, and political upheaval and has been praised for its vivid portrayal of the era.

Get the book here: Dreams of Joy

8. The Interior (1999)

The Interior” is a mystery novel that takes place in San Francisco’s Chinatown. It follows a young woman named Miranda as she investigates the murder of her sister.

Miranda must navigate the cultural barriers and the seedy underbelly of Chinatown to uncover the truth. 

“The Interior” is a gripping and atmospheric exploration of crime and culture and has been praised for its suspenseful plot and detailed portrayal of Chinatown.

Get the book here: The Interior 

9. Flower Net (1997)

Flower Net is a crime thriller set in Beijing. Detective Liu Hulan is tasked with investigating the murder of a young American woman.

 As she delves deeper into the case, she uncovers a web of political corruption and intrigue that threatens to upend the delicate balance between China and the United States. 

“Flower Net” is a fast-paced and suspenseful exploration of crime and politics and has been praised for its vivid depiction of Beijing and its complex characters. 

Get the book here: Flower Net

10. Dragon Bones (2003)

Dragon Bones” is a crime thriller. It is another installment in the Liu Hulan series and takes place in modern-day China.

Liu is called in to investigate a murder involving ancient artifacts and family secrets and must navigate the treacherous waters of Chinese society to uncover the truth.

“Dragon Bones” is a complex and layered exploration of crime, family, and tradition and has been praised for its vivid portrayal of contemporary China.

Get the book here: Dragon Bones


So, why should you read See’s books?

Lisa See’s novels are beautifully written and offer vivid and immersive depictions of Chinese culture, history, and tradition. 

Her characters are complex and multifaceted, and her exploration of the themes such as family, identity, and the immigrant experience is poignant and insightful.

Furthermore, her books offer a unique perspective on the Chinese-American experience and shed light on the challenges faced by individuals who straddle two cultures.

Overall, Lisa See’s books are a compelling and rewarding read for anyone interested in exploring Chinese culture and history as well as for those who enjoy thought-provoking and emotionally resonant stories.



How Does Lisa See Start Writing Career?

She began her writing career as a freelance journalist, writing articles and essays on a variety of topics for publications such as Vogue, Self, and The New York Times.

What are the Awards And honors Lisa See has received?

She has also been recognized with numerous awards and honors including the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Golden Spike Award from the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California.

"As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases"