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Peony in Love (2007)

by Lisa See

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,0121413,483 (3.57)208
Peony is the cloistered daughter of a wealthy family is betrothed to a suitor she has never met, these lyrics from The Peony Pavilion mirror her own longings. In the garden of the Chen Family Villa, a small theatrical troupe is performing scenes from this epic opera. Peony attends the production, watching from behind a screen, but catches sight of a handsome man and begins a journey of love and sorrow.… (more)
  1. 51
    Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (emib, mcdougaldd)
    mcdougaldd: Both are about women's roles in 17th century China. The author is very good at describing the times and attitudes.
  2. 41
    Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (leahsimone)
  3. 41
    Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier (leahsimone)
  4. 20
    The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Different premise but makes use of what happens to souls in the afterlife
  5. 21
    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (leahsimone)
  6. 00
    The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo (library_gal)
  7. 11
    Saving Fish from Drowning by Amy Tan (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Ghosts reach into our world to complete tasks left undone
  8. 00
    The Secrets of Jin-shei by Alma Alexander (Yorkist)
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» See also 208 mentions

English (141)  German (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (143)
Showing 1-5 of 141 (next | show all)
Interesting take on the Oriental afterlife ( )
  aldimartino | Nov 24, 2020 |
Interesting take on the Oriental afterlife ( )
  Andy_DiMartino | Nov 24, 2020 |
An interesting premise with mediocre execution: The Peony Pavilion tragic-romance opera is the instigator of female longings and ambitions in 17th century China, at a time of political upheavals and mayhem. The central character's romantic encounter is gripping and engaging, and coincides with her intellectual awakening. This momentum is interrupted when [SPOILER ALERT] the main character dies about one-third into the book. Unsurprisingly, having a dead main character slows and drags the rest of the novel, which wallows too much in Chinese ghost-conventions and becomes almost a paean to female masochism, sinking into high-faluting whining about how no one pays attention to women. There's a valid point to be made, but it's made at too great length and insistence. It's the same problem I have with Virginia Woolf: Get over it already, lady. Stop complaining and start working -- as a writer. ( )
  oatleyr | Aug 22, 2020 |
I am glad that I listened to it rather than read it. I enjoyed the beginning because of the historical background for that time period and the one before. I have read a lot about foot binding so I already knew many details about. The play that was given as a 16th birthday present, I was also familiar with. But the main character's story was incrediably tragic and could have been prevented. From the time that Peony kept her eyes when she had a chance to see her betrothed, I knew that it would be very difficult to listen to the rest of the story.

I made it to the end but it was depressing that I could never listen to it again. The author wrote beautifully but I would not attempt this book if you are depression prone. ( )
  Carolee888 | Jun 30, 2019 |
More like 3 1/2 stars. Original and well written, although every now and then I came upon a 20th century-sounding phrase that ripped the historical veil a little for me. ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 141 (next | show all)
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For BOB LOOMIS, in celebration of his fifty years at Random House
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Two days before my sixteenth birthday, I woke up so early that my maid was still asleep on the floor at the foot of my bed.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Peony is the cloistered daughter of a wealthy family is betrothed to a suitor she has never met, these lyrics from The Peony Pavilion mirror her own longings. In the garden of the Chen Family Villa, a small theatrical troupe is performing scenes from this epic opera. Peony attends the production, watching from behind a screen, but catches sight of a handsome man and begins a journey of love and sorrow.

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