Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
A NovelBook - 2005
From Library Staff
I'm thankful for this book by Lisa See about 19th century women's cultural traditions in China and the lives of two girls profoundly affected, both positively and negatively, by them. -Rondi B.
A story of friendship set in nineteenth-century China follows an elderly woman and her companion as they communicate their hopes, dreams, joys, and tragedies through a unique secret language.
multcolib_recommends1 Apr 30, 2013
A resonant novel of 19th Century China that Publisher's Weekly called "both a suspenseful and poignant story and an absorbing historical chronicle."
From the critics
QuotesAdd a Quote
Many memorable quotes in Goodreads:
“Beautiful Moon, we hope the flower tower brings you peace. We hope you forget about us, but we will never forget you. We will honor you. We will clean your grave at Spring Festival. Do not let your thoughts run wild. Live in your flower tower and be happy.”
“She loved you as a laotong should for everything that you were and everything you were not,” Plum Blossom concluded. “But you had too much man-thinking in you. You loved her as a man would, valuing her only for following men’s rules.”
“My writing is soaked with the tears of my heart, An invisible rebellion that no man can see. Let our life stories become tragic art. Oh, Mama, oh, sisters, hear me, hear me.”
“The bed is lit by moonlight. I think it is the light snow of an early winter morning. Looking up, I enjoy the full moon in the night sky. Bending over, I miss my hometown.”
“A woman without knowledge is better than a woman with an education.”
The letter began in the traditional opening to a bride: I feel knives in my heart as I write to you. We promised each other that we would never be a step apart, that a harsh word would never pass between us.I thought we would have our whole lives together. I never believed this day would come. It is sad that we came into this life wrong—as girls—but this is our fate. Lily, we have been like a pair of mandarin ducks. Now everything changes. In the coming days you will learn thingsabout me. I have been restless and filled with apprehension. In my heart and in my mouth I have been weeping, thinking you will no longer love me. Please know that whatever you think of me, my opinion of you will never change.
“People may speak of us as girls who married out,” I sang, in the direction of Snow Flower, “but we will never be separated in our hearts. You go down; I go up. Your family butchers animals. My family is the best in the county. You are as close to me as my own heart. Our futures are tied together. We are like a bridge over a wide river. We walk side by side.” I wanted Snow Flower’s mother-in-law to hear me. But her eyes stared back at me suspiciously, her thin lips pressed into a slash of displeasure. As I came to the end, again I added a few new sentiments. “Don’t express misery where others can see you. Don’t let sobbing build. Don’t give ill-mannered people a reason to make fun of you or your family. Follow the rules. Smooth your anxious brow. We will be old sames forever.”
AgeAdd Age Suitability
ANNA TRAN NGUYEN thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over
SummaryAdd a Summary
Lilly tells her and Snow Flower's story - beginning in 1823 in a remote Hunan village - laotongs, Daughter Days, foot binding, Hair-Pinning Days, husbands and babies, the Taiping rebellion, the secret language. Graphic wrenching detail.
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