The social committee of the Island Country Club recently invited Barbara Rinella to perform at their monthly luncheon. Rinella, a self-defined “academic entertainer”, captivated guests with her performance of Lisa See’s novel, Shanghai Girls.
Beginning in Shanghai, 1937, the core characters of See’s novel are two devoted, inseparable sisters who both love and test each other through what becomes a lifetime of shared trials and triumphs in America. A transformed Rinella, dressed in traditional Chinese cheongsam and black wig, swiftly switched characters as she narrated and acted each role. Through the telling of the story of sisters Pearl and May, Barbara Rinella mingled anecdotal stories of her relationship with her own sister, with whom she remains close. Rinella’s engaging, fast paced story telling, wry wit, and self-deprecating humor thoroughly delighted the packed audience.
An avid reader, Rinella offered recommendations for other books, both fiction and non-fiction. The list can be found on her website, BarbaraRinella.com