Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is the story of two girls from very different backgrounds in 1800s China and the deep friendship they share.
I picked this up after reading three Holocaust novels in a row. I needed some “fluff” and, not really knowing what it was about, I thought this might work. Instead I found myself reading the horrible details of foot binding. I knew it was bad, but I didn’t realize it was that bad. *Shudder*
That aside, this was pretty good. I found it hard to relate to either Lily or Snow Flower, but I did appreciate the deep friendship they shared. In a time of arranged marriages, a friendship was the truest love most women experienced. I think we’ve lost some of that today, but we can still relate to the love, regret, and misunderstandings that arise between friends.
A big part of the book centers around the secret women’s writing that the women in this area of China had. I just love the whole idea of a hidden writing system invented for women by women. I’ve come across this idea before in The Secrets of Jin-shei by Alma Alexander. That novel’s set in an imaginary country that is obviously based on China. Readers of one of these books should like the other.
I think women who enjoy reading about friendships between women will enjoy this one.
Reviewed August 12, 2009
Read an excerpt.
Find author Lisa See on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.
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Friday Flashback Reviews are a weekly feature here on The Introverted Reader. These are old reviews I wrote on GoodReads. Thanks to Angieville and her Retro Friday Reviews for the inspiration and encouragement!
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