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Extended Audio Sample Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel Audiobook, by Lisa See Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (154,797 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lisa See Narrator: Janet Song Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2005 ISBN: 9781415926390
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In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, an “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 written 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 the fan and compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Together they endure the agony of footbinding and reflect upon their arranged marriages, their loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace in their friendship, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their relationship suddenly threatens to tear apart.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a captivating journey back to an era of Chinese history that is as deeply moving as it is sorrowful.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kay | 2/10/2014

    " It was OK. Interesting to learn about some of the old Chinese culture "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jen | 2/9/2014

    " This was such a well written, interesting book! I read it in one sitting, because I couldn't put it down! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zoe Jussel | 2/8/2014

    " I have always been fascinated by the era in Japanese culture and ritual, most especially the act of foot binding. This act is so astonishing to me and almost surreal to think it was still being practiced in the early 20th century in some remote villages. This book begins in the early life of two girls and their families, how they grew, what was done, their relationship throughout. Life was just so completely different from anything we could ever imagine as women in the here and now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 ☆Kiran ☆ | 2/4/2014

    " This book has lost me for words. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan literally has taken me to 19th century China. This book made me feel as if I was there along with Lily taking in all her troubles, her worries, her happiness, and fun times with her loatong. The language in this book just took my breath away. Lisa See does a very good job decribing the care and delicacy of the womens launge Nu Shu that the women just took so the men in the "outer world" don't suspect suspicion among the women. Another good part of this book was the way Lisa See expresses the bond between Lily and Snow Flower and how it can never be severed. Lisa See also does an excelete job of discirbing the history of ancient China. Exspecially the detailed part about foot binding and what preparations the women had to make for there young daughter. I ever started getting foot pain from reading this book. I absolutly recommand this book to history,cultural, and the people who love a great story about a life of w young women through her years. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelley Barker | 2/3/2014

    " Oh, I really really liked this story! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin | 1/30/2014

    " I liked it, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't been so tired of the hype that surrounded it at the time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wendy | 1/30/2014

    " The point of view makes this book -- having only Lily's perspective adds realism and creates a lot of interest. I learned a lot from it, not only about cultural traditions in China during this time period (turns out I didn't know as much about foot-binding as I thought) but also about relationships and the dangers of judging others' motives. Intriguing and heart-breaking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 1/16/2014

    " This definitely falls under "book club" literature instead of popular fiction. I was easily drawn into the characters and story and was disappointed when it was over. Not knowing much about this culture, I found it fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorie | 1/15/2014

    " I really liked this book, it was a good lesson on judging others. I also liked the historical aspect of it. I really know little of Chinese cultural history. This booked peaked my curiosity, I plan on reading more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Froggy Jackson | 1/6/2014

    " This book brought me into an amazing world I'd never visited before. I learned a lot. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dena Napoli | 12/20/2013

    " Great book. It was a wonderful story of class and friendships. Deep friendship and life as a woman in an oppressive society. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rita Potochick | 12/9/2013

    " A great book. I read it and then my husband and I listened to the audiobook as we traveled. I enjoyed it twice. The book was made into a movie and it left out the essence of the story of Snow Flower. I was totally disappointed in the film version but absolutely loved the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alija | 12/8/2013

    " Loved this one, and learned about traditions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 5/30/2013

    " Very engaging story, and really interesting learning about life for women in 19th century China. My only complaint was it was a little too sad overall. Women had a very hard life in those times!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris W | 9/26/2012

    " I loved the intimate story of two young women and how their paths crossed, merged and paralleled. I enjoyed learning about traditional rituals and how enduring physical and emotional challenges help define a person. Very thought provoking. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Silvia Neves | 7/11/2012

    " The audiobokk was excellet. I truly enjoyed this story of frienship and life in China. I called my attention to the suffering of women who had their feet binded. I think high heels is also a terrible practice that women still follow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 7/9/2012

    " I still think about the characters in this book .. I read it about 6 years ago..that says something to me about the ways the characters are developed.I loved it.. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judy | 3/17/2012

    " Definitely recommend this book. It's a fascinating look into women's lives in an earlier time in China. A very good read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kellie Beaupre | 3/7/2012

    " I loved this book. It was so descriptive and imaginative. The story of the two girls really brings you in and makes you care. A lovely story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anastasia | 12/1/2011

    " I really thought I would love this. I tried for two months to "get into it", but it was boring and bland and I did not care about the woman. I thought I would find some history or poetry and instead I found endless boredom. I am very surprised. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brigitte | 7/17/2011

    " It is mind boggling to think of the suffering of women through the centuries. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kara | 5/22/2011

    " Beautiful story! I loved it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 5/20/2011

    " I thought this book was beautifully written. I want to read "Shanghai Girls" too (which is think is the same author) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Colleen | 5/20/2011

    " I enjoyed learning about the Chinese culture. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Soulfulewe | 5/20/2011

    " A small book so powerfully packed. Loved It!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 5/19/2011

    " Very Good book, but also very familiar. Either I have read this book before, or something very very similar. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail | 5/18/2011

    " Parts of it were very hard to read, but also very worthwhile. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim | 5/18/2011

    " I couldn't put it down! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angie | 5/17/2011

    " Very interesting book. I'd probably give it 3.5 stars. I enjoyed it but found some parts seriously depressing and gruesome. It really was fascinating though! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carrie | 5/17/2011

    " Great book about 2 friends who live very different lives but come together "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 5/17/2011

    " A wonderful read weaving historcial fiction around the lifetime friendship of two Chinese girls. Another great novel from Lisa See. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anita | 5/13/2011

    " Fiction that speaks to the her-story of foot binding, relationship bongs between women, and traditions in empirical China. Well researched, a great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katy | 5/13/2011

    " Very good stuff; I liked it as well as Memoirs from a Geisha - I'm surprised it's not better known, but maybe it's because there's no movie...very short, but there's a lot packed into it - abrupt at times, but not enough to get irritated about. A story that'll stick with me for awhile... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 5/12/2011

    " very interesting to learn about the Chinese footbinding, however there was a weird sense of friendship that I never quite understood. Maybe that's how their friendships really are, but it made me somewhat uneasy at times. Overall a good read though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristie | 5/11/2011

    " Good book, but too sad to recommend. I think any book that focuses on footbinding in China is going to be a tough one. Plus, true to history, a LOT of characters die. So I'm taking a long break before my next Lisa See book. "

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About the Author
Author Lisa See

Lisa See is the New York Times bestselling author of Peony in Love, Snow Flower and the Secret FanFlower NetThe Interior, and Dragon Bones, as well as the critically acclaimed memoir On Gold Mountain. The Organization of Chinese American Women named her the 2001 National Woman of the Year. She lives in Los Angeles.

About the Narrator

Janet Song is the recipient of multiple Earphones Awards and was named one of AudioFile magazine’s Best Voices of 2008. Recent audiobooks include Euna Lee’s The World is Bigger Now and Lisa See’s Shanghai Girls. She lives and works in Southern California as an actor on stage and screen.