At the end of Shanghai Girls Pearl and May get in an argument, their lives, and relationship are broken and they alienate Joy (May's daughter whom Pearl has been raising as her own for the last nineteen years.) Joy blames herself for her father's death, for the argument between her mom and her aunt. She is also upset with them not telling her the truth and is dealing with the fact that her real father is still in Red China. Joy feeling a wide range of emotions runs away in the middle of the night to China. She gives up her American passport and welcomes Red China in an idealistic and naive way. She looks for and finds her father and builds a relationship with him and many other people whom she meets along the way. She believes that she has made the right choice and will be able to forget American and atone for her sins and mistakes by living in China.
When Pearl realizes that Joy is missing and has gone to China she goes after her. Understanding the state of the Communist Country and realizing the danger and sacrifices they with both need to make she searches for Joy and is determined to bring her home.
This book was another incredible story by Lisa See and the perfect ending to the story that began in Shanghai Girls.