Book Review: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (4/5) | Taking on a World of WordsNothing is as riveting as a story that informs as it charms: What do we read for, if not to live alternate lives and learn about extraordinary settings? Because her feet were high in the arch and potentially breathtaking, she had the potential to marry well and elevate the status of her family. She could also enter a second formal match, to another woman, a lifetime best friend called a sworn sister or laotong. A marriage is not made by choice and has only one purpose — to have sons. Snow Flower is from a high family in a prestigious neighboring town, her grandfather an imperial scholar. She can teach Lily the social rituals of important families.
Reviews for Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
I found a copy at a used book sale and it sat on my shelf for a few years. Then I heard that Lisa See was coming to town for a signing! I read her other book, Shanghai Girls , and got a copy of this one signed. This was a great story. Shanghai Girls with two book club reflections and meeting the author. As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on fans, compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments.
Do you love Kate Forsyth’s books?
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover.
A starred review indicates a book of outstanding quality. A review with a blue-tinted title indicates a book of unusual commercial interest that hasn't received a starred review. See's engrossing novel set in remote 19th-century China details the deeply affecting story of lifelong, intimate friends laotong , or "old sames" Lily and Snow Flower, their imprisonment by rigid codes of conduct for women and their betrayal by pride and love. While granting immediacy to Lily's voice, See Flower Net adroitly transmits historical background in graceful prose. Her in-depth research into women's ceremonies and duties in China's rural interior brings fascinating revelations about arranged marriages, women's inferior status in both their natal and married homes, and the Confucian proverbs and myriad superstitions that informed daily life. Beginning with a detailed and heartbreaking description of Lily and her sisters' foot binding "Only through pain will you have beauty.
Thank you! At the end of her life, Lady Lily Lu, the year-old matriarch of Tongkou village, sits down to write her final memoir—one that will be burned at her death. Using nu shu, a secret script designed and kept by women, Lily spends her final years recounting her training as a woman, her longing for love and the central friendship of her life. Born, in , into an ordinary farming family, Lily might not have ended up as a wealthy matriarch. Her earliest memories are of running through the fields outside with her cousin Beautiful Moon in the last days before her foot-binding.