Monday, November 10, 2008

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (3)

A language kept a secret for a thousand years forms the backdrop for an unforgettable novel of two Chinese women whose friendship and love sustains them through their lives.

This absorbing novel – with a storyline unlike anything Lisa See has written before – takes place in 19th century China when girls had their feet bound, then spent the rest of their lives in seclusion with only a single window from which to see. Illiterate and isolated, they were not expected to think, be creative, or have emotions. But in one remote county, women developed their own secret code, nu shu – "women's writing" – the only gender-based written language to have been found in the world. Some girls were paired as "old-sames" in emotional matches that lasted throughout their lives. They painted letters on fans, embroidered messages on handkerchiefs, and composed stories, thereby reaching out of their windows to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments.

An old woman tells of her relationship with her "old-same," their arranged marriages, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood—until a terrible misunderstanding written on their secret fan threatens to tear them apart. With the detail and emotional resonance of Memoirs of a Geisha , Snow Flower and the Secret Fan delves into one of the most mysterious and treasured relationships of all time—female friendship.

Well isn't it a pretty cover .... I have to say that I did enjoy this book ... A look into the life as a Chinese woman in 1830's. Lily is the main character who at the beginning of the book is ninety years old and is reflecting on her life ...

She starts telling you life as a 6 year old and how she is the second daughter in the family and how she is worthless as she is just a girl basically just another mouth to feed according to her family .... Her life is changed when the matchmaker tells her parents that she is special and that she will have good feet .... ( A girl who has good feet after being bound is highly valued) And could marry into a promenade family which will not only help her but also her family ...

She makes a life long friend in Snow Flower her Lagtong as they are called and communicate throughout their lives in a secret language which only woman can read ...

This book tells of their dreams and their lives as each goes in different directions ... I was fascinated to read about this language as it actually does exist ... It was intriguing to read the different laws and rules that woman have to follow their whole life's ... How and why they bind their feet? .... And how from the young age of 6 you learn to OBEY know matter what !!!

I enjoyed the book on life has a Chinese woman and was grateful that as a child I just learned to play and be young instead of having to always try and prove my worth !!!

I rate this book 3 ***

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