Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a brilliantly realistic journey back to an era of Chinese history that is as deeply moving as it is sorrowful. With the period detail and deep resonance of Memoirs of a Geisha, this lyrical and emotionally charged novel delves into one of the most mysterious of human relationships: female friendship. Lily is haunted by memories–of who she once was, and of a person, long gone, who defined her existence. She has nothing but time now, as she recounts the tale of Snow Flower, and asks the gods for forgiveness. In nineteenth-century China, when wives and daughters were foot-bound and lived in almost total seclusion, the women in one remote Hunan county developed their own secret code for communication: nu shu (“women’s writing”). Some girls were paired with laotongs, “old sames,” in emotional matches that lasted throughout their lives. They painted letters on fans, embroidered messages on handkerchiefs, and composed stories, thereby reaching out of their isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. With the arrival of a silk fan on which Snow Flower has composed for Lily a poem of introduction in nu shu, their friendship is sealed and they become “old sames” at the tender age of seven. As the years pass, through famine and rebellion, they reflect upon their arranged marriages, 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 lifelong friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart.
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"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."
â˜†Kiran (4 out of 5 stars)