Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Lily is haunted by memories–of who she once was, and of a person, long gone, who defined her existence. She has nothing but time now, as she recounts the tale of Snow Flower, and asks the gods for forgiveness.In nineteenth-century China, when wives and daughters were foot-bound and lived in... show more
Lily is haunted by memories–of who she once was, and of a person, long gone, who defined her existence. She has nothing but time now, as she recounts the tale of Snow Flower, and asks the gods for forgiveness.In nineteenth-century China, when wives and daughters were foot-bound and lived in almost total seclusion, the women in one remote Hunan county developed their own secret code for communication: nu shu (“women’s writing”). Some girls were paired with laotongs, “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 isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments.With the arrival of a silk fan on which Snow Flower has composed for Lily a poem of introduction in nu shu, their friendship is sealed and they become “old sames” at the tender age of seven. As the years pass, through famine and rebellion, they reflect upon their arranged marriages, loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their lifelong friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart.Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a brilliantly realistic journey back to an era of Chinese history that is as deeply moving as it is sorrowful. With the period detail and deep resonance of Memoirs of a Geisha, this lyrical and emotionally charged novel delves into one of the most mysterious of human relationships: female friendship.From the Hardcover edition.
Publish date: May 31st 2011
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Pages no: 288
Edition language: English
, Book Club
, Adult Fiction
, Historical Fiction
, Asian Literature
, Womens Fiction
, Chick Lit
This book made me feel sick. The description of the foot binding. Ugh. It's sickening. Even worse than corsets.I also found myself becoming frustrated with Lily's constant insistence that she was in the wrong in her actions toward Snow Flower. She was wrong at times, but Snow Flower was also wrong a...
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is essentially the story of two women and their sworn friendship in 19th century China. I was both captivated and horrified by the life that these woman, and the others around them, had to endure. I’ve not read many books based in Chinese historical fiction, but I’ve r...
Such a great story of friendship and childhood!
This book is lovely. Simply lovely.We follow Snow Flower and Lily, pledged in a lifelong laotong friendship from the early days of their foot binding. Through growing up, betrothal, marriage, children, love, war, and loss they share their lives and their secrets, until misunderstanding and pride t...
It just took me a day to read this book, I found this to be a very bittersweet story all about the friendship between two women in China in the late 1800s.