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Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Lisa See's Peony in Love.

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 Publishers Weekly

Apr 18, 2005 – 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.SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FANLisa See. Random, (272p) 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. Only through suffering will you have peace"), the story widens to a vivid portrait of family and village life. Most impressive is See's incorporation of nu shu, a secret written phonetic code among women here between Lily and Snow Flower that dates back 1,000 years in the southwestern Hunan province ("My writing is soaked with the tears of my heart,/ An invisible rebellion that no man can see"). As both a suspenseful and poignant story and an absorbing historical chronicle, this novel has bestseller potential and should become a reading group favorite as well.

Customer Reviews

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

I wasn't able to put this book down and read it ALL in one day. The characters and descriptions were so well done that it put you there with them. I'm thrilled there is a continuation.

Amazing

I read this book in my collage English class and I have to say I wasn't wanting to. I don't like reading but as soon as I started I got more and more involved. I finished the book in two weeks(that's a very short time for me) I recommend anyone who has a need or want to learn to read this. Rumor has it there will be a movie read this first. You'll thank me later.

Enticing and Enthralling

SnowFlower and the Secret Fan - a beautiful gentle title which drew me in and cast me into a world of simplicity and complexity - of beauty and ugliness. I lived every emotion thought the main characters. What a wonderful story of dichotomies and passion - a true longing for the ties that bind a lifelong friendship and deep love between women. A wonderful torturous beautiful story.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Jun 28, 2005
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 288 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings