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Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel by…

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel (2005)

by Lisa See

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8,821379341 (4.03)512

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Showing 1-5 of 369 (next | show all)
In 19th century China, Lily is paired with Snow Flower, as loatong – “old sames.” This is a bond closer than marriage, where the women are sworn friends for life. Lily’s family is poor, however her delicate feet and bond with Snow Flower insure that she marries into one of the most influential families in the region. Snow Flower, who has been impoverished by her father’s opium addiction, is married to a butcher, a man seen as unclean throughout their culture.

This was a fascinating book. I’ve never heard of some of the practices discussed throughout the book and found myself wanting to know more. The historical details were just icing on the cake. The author’s writing style was very smooth and free-flowing. It was easy to like and understand the girls, even if they came from a completely different society than my own. I look forward to reading more books by Lisa See. ( )
  JanaRose1 | Apr 20, 2016 |
I just like Lisa See books. Great historical detail and lifelong story about friends. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is about an Asian girl that is being brought up in her culture. Her mother and grandmother teach her the ways of their people. They bind her feet to make them smaller because in Asian culture men desire smaller feet. She is sent to a school to learn to be more lady like. She is then bought by the man she was promised to as a young girl. He cheats on Snow Flower several times and she lives a very unhappy life.

I did not like this book as much as others i have read due to some sexual content. The book does give an interesting over view of ancient Asian culture. I did not know that women had their feet broken and bound to make them smaller just so a man would marry them. They would also set aside animals and silk to give to the husbands family at the time of marriage.

Classroom Extension 1: I would ask the students to discuss different cultures. We would use pie charts to discuss similarities and differences between several different cultures.

Classroom Extension 2: I would ask the students to bring foods from the different cultures discussed. We would have a meal together and discuss what types of food fall into which cultures. ( )
  AngieOliviaDodd | Mar 22, 2016 |
Most of the historical fiction set in China that I've encountered deals with the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and especially with the influx of foreigners into China during that period, so this novel, with its setting in rural China, was a welcome change. The author offers a unique window into women's lives, with the pains of foot-binding, the struggles of marriage, and the comfort of friendships vividly illustrated. Well worth the read (especially considering the length of the novel) and highly recommended for those with an interest in China. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Mar 15, 2016 |
Not as good as I hoped it would be based on all the book lists and recommendations. This book is on many book lists so I finally decided to try it.

I did enjoy the read do not get me wrong but to me this was not a 5 star book. It was hard to read about the footbinding but very very interesting. I knew that weirdly enough it is women who do these things to themselves. Like the female genital mutilation, the women are the ones that tell their daughters to do this. But the big reason is why? Why do those women torture in a way their girls?......................... To satisfy men.DUH!

Lately I have been thinking and reading a lot. Look at the news stories everyday. Most victims of crimes are women. Victims of most serial killers? children and women. Victims of rape. women . Of course men are raped too but you can't compare it to how many times a woman is raped or killed.

Women are still being thought of by some as bitches and the music of today does not help. No it makes the situation worse. Women are called ho's, bitches and whatever.

Weird because this began with a minority group in itself. Young black men who began with raps like that.

I enjoy rap music but I can't stand the lyrics. Look at the video clips. Women are there to be available when the men want sex and to show off with how much stuff was bought for them. Women are degraded and they allow men to degrade them all for money or fame. They sing along with the lyrics.

Back to the subject of cruelty to women to please men. In Somalia, 98% of young girls suffer female genital mutilation.
I am glad to be able to say the act of footbinding had stopped according to various websites.

What I liked was the story that was told through out the book about life in China back then. What I did not like was that I did not feel any connection with the girls. All in all an interesting read and I might try another book by this author.
( )
  Marlene-NL | Mar 12, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lisa Seeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ridder, SusanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Song, JanetNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I am what they call in our village "one who has not yet died" -- a widow, eighty years old.
No matter how scared I was of her words, I wanted to cling to those wings and fly away
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Book description
Friends Snow Flower and Lily find solace in their bond as they face isolation, arranged marriages, loss, and motherhood in nineteenth-century China.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812968069, Paperback)

In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, “old same,” in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she’s painted a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men. 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. Together, they endure the agony of foot-binding, and reflect upon their arranged marriages, shared 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 deep friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:23 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In nineteenth century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, or "old same," in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The two women exchange messages written on silk fans and handkerchieves using nu shu, a unique language that women created in order to communicate in secret, sharing their experiences, but when a misunderstanding arises, their friendship threatens to tear apart.… (more)

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