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Extended Audio Sample Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel, 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 (154,913 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lisa See Narrator: Jodi Long Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.

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.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Vanessa | 2/15/2014

    " I found this book fascinating, if it at times made me cringe with the graphic descriptions of things like foot binding. I had only read Chinese historical fiction written by Amy Tan before, and only thought they were ok, but I was pleasantly surprised by Lisa See's story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Caiti | 2/9/2014

    " The best book I've read in over a year. It is a story about friendship and relationships, growing up not only physically, but intellectually maturing. It is a story about women that is beautifully written, and exposes the reader to Chinese traditions that are no longer practiced, such as foot binding. I found it hard to put down! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Katie Christensen | 1/21/2014

    " Re-reading this right now for my book club... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Jennifer Zuccaro | 1/16/2014

    " I think the reason i didn't really like the majority of this book was because i found almost all of the characters to be extremely annoying. The only part of this book that i genuinely liked was the very end of it. That was what saved it for me. "

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