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Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (original 2005; edition 2007)

by Lisa See

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8,843381341 (4.03)512
Title:Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Authors:Lisa See
Info:Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2007), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Your library, To read

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


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English (371)  Spanish (2)  Danish (2)  Catalan (2)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (379)
Showing 1-5 of 371 (next | show all)
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan 4 stars
Definitely not chick lit despite having the tag. Snow Flower is well researched historical fiction. I found myself alternately appalled by the suffering of these women and impressed with their endurance. They seemed simultaneously completely foreign and totally familiar to women I know. How does a custom like foot binding become such a deeply engrained part of a culture? I wonder if it is even possible for someone from our culture in this century to truly comprehend the kind of oppression these Chinese women experienced. This was a very good book. It made me want to reread The Good Earth which I read only once eons ago.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
I was immediately sucked in to this tale of a lifelong sworn friendship between two women in rural 19th century China. A perfect selection for book club, plenty of fodder for discussion about the topics of love, loyalty, friendship, motherhood, birth, death etc. And the details about footbinding – unforgettable! ( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
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 |
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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)

(summary from another edition)

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Lisa See is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Average: (4.03)
1 27
1.5 4
2 94
2.5 28
3 515
3.5 162
4 1177
4.5 164
5 925


6 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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