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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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8,586353355 (4.03)507

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Showing 1-5 of 344 (next | show all)
I don't know how historically accurate this book is, but it's certainly a good book about an era and locale that most westerners probably don't knowing about. I highly recommend it. ( )
  Big_Blue | Sep 29, 2015 |
After reading this book I looked on Good Reads to see if anyone else in the group had read it. I found that both Kim and Katie had and did not seem to like it. Nonetheless, I am sticking by my four stars and even briefly considered five. I was fascinated by the secret written language developed by Chinese women and how it was passed from mother to daughter without the knowledge of men and how it was used to secretly communicate in an extremely patriarchal society. (I read several articles online about it and found that it still exists and is the only written language developed exclusively by and for women.) The descriptions of foot-binding were excruciatingly painful, both to read and to imagine. And after Lily ended up with her approximately 3-inch long feet and was made even more marriageable by that fact, she spoke of walking on "remembered feet." Remembering how she was able to walk before the binding made her pain more bearable. And the idea of having a "same" was quite fascinating - someone of the same gender with whom you would have a lifelong relationship. And then there was the friendship of "sworn sisters," women outside of your family who would be even closer to you than birth sisters. I found much of the cultural and historical information in this book to be quite fascinating. The women were so totally and completely oppressed, yet showed some strength even in the worst of situations. Maybe Catholic women need to develop their own secret language! ( )
1 vote TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
i never really got into this book. i guess it was a good story, but i didn't think it was that well written and i never really felt all that attached to the characters, which is important to me in a book like this. it was maybe a bit too much like every other novel i've read about women and their struggles and triumphs. nothing new or out of the ordinary. ( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
This is a historical novel, very well researched, of women in a 19th century Chinese village, dealing with lifelong friendship, misunderstanding, betrayal, hurt, anger and reconciliation against a backdrop of village life, culture, tradition, epidemics, sorrow, joy, and a peasant uprising. It is not a very long book (253 pages), but it is excellent in my opinion.

It was very difficult to read of the cruel, torturous practice of binding the feet of young girls. I had heard of footbinding, but I did't know how agonizing it was. But there was much more to the book than this, and it was truly eye-opening to read of the culture, customs, and traditions of a people about whom I knew little.

This book was read and released through Bookcrossing in 2009. ( )
  FancyHorse | May 24, 2015 |
As a Chinese, I feel it is very strange, the author seems know Chinese culture, but it just little, and try to use a controversial topic to attract eyeballs. ( )
  FandiZeng | May 11, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 344 (next | show all)
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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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First words
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
Last words
Disambiguation notice
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


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.
Haiku summary

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)

» see all 12 descriptions

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Average: (4.03)
1 27
1.5 4
2 93
2.5 28
3 494
3.5 161
4 1139
4.5 163
5 892


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