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Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

A Novel
See, Lisa (Book - 2005 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Item Details

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.
Authors: See, Lisa
Title: Snow Flower and the secret fan
a novel
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, 2005
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: 258 p. ;,24 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Lisa See
ISBN: 9781400060283
Branch Call Number: FICTION SEE
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Report This Apr 10, 2014
  • AndreaBeatriz rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Currently reading it for the 3rd time. Every time I read this beautiful book, I love it even more. The book has different sections to it, and although it does not completely cover every aspect of Lily's (the narrator's) life, it goes through specific time periods that affected her and Snow Flower's friendship. I wish it could have gone into the relationship between Lily and her daughter a little bit more, because it seems to me that in the end she became just like her mother. But, then again, the book cannot possibly cover everything, and its main focus was the friendship between the two central characters. It is an interesting look at friendship, and I would definitely recommend it. (Especially if you're into historical fiction!)

Report This Apr 08, 2014
  • Aggie3 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book is very well written, it's captivating and reads well. One of the best books I have read lately. I highly recommend it. Lisa See is a brilliant author. A peak at times past, customs past, but very human and real. A big thumbs up!

Good read, but as many other readers have already mentioned, the context wasn't about the secret writing/fan. It does provide a good insight into the older Chinese culture, especially around feet wrapping and the marriage traditions. The book teaches you a lot about how relationships, among women, were kept during back when education wasn't openly accessible for females. The ending was like any other Lisa See book, short and rushed.

Report This Jun 27, 2013
  • alyssaj91 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This book was a great read, even though the "secret fan" wasn't really all that secret. But every time I opened this book I was transported into this world of duty and love. It's true what they all say, it is a heartbreaking story but it is so good that I would highly recommend it to anyone with a need for a good read.

Report This Jun 22, 2013
  • WVMLBookClubTitles rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

An old woman in 19th-century China reminisces about a life-long friendship between the daughter of a humble farmer, and Snow Flower, an elegant and educated girl with whom she shares a correspondence in nu shu, a secret women’s writing. The two pour out their innermost feelings to one another, deepening their connection throughout the years, until a betrayal divides them. A keenly imagined journey into the women’s quarters of Imperial China, this poignant story is also an absorbing historical chronicle.

Report This Apr 17, 2013
  • cisterno rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Love Lisa See. Awesome book not only for historical content but for the relationship between Snow Flower and Lily.

Report This Apr 09, 2013
  • Sanctifiedfoxx rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

I expected so much, alas!! Poor read. Poor read.

Report This Apr 05, 2013
  • deda_roger rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Sad, beautiful, heartbreaking and very well written.

Report This Feb 02, 2013
  • sneha rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Fascinating story and great writing.

Report This Dec 17, 2012
  • AuntJane rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Just finished reading this story and it has left me feeling so sad and introspective! (and SO GLAD I have 'big flipping fish feet'! ) An excellent historical novel that follows Lily and her friend Snowflower, their traditional lifestyles and the relationships that develop in rural China. SAD STORY, but a very good read. Check out Lisa See on the internet to see pictures of Bound feet = ouch!

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Report This Apr 08, 2014
  • Aggie3 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Aggie3 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Report This May 09, 2013
  • ANNA TRAN NGUYEN rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

ANNA TRAN NGUYEN thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Report This May 14, 2012
  • amysueoreilly rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

amysueoreilly thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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Report This Mar 23, 2011
  • sylvia6669 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

80 year-old woman reflects on relationships. She has many regrets concerning decisions she made...especially concerning her beloved "laotong" Snow Flower.


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Movie Trailer for Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Film directed by Wayne Wang.

Report This Apr 17, 2011
  • Read_at_MarkhamPL rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Trailer for Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

This is the official trailer for the movie adaptation of Lisa See's "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan," coming out in theatres Summer 2011!

Find it at MCL


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