Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Currently Reading: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is told through the eyes of an old woman, Lilly, looking back on her friendship with her laotong, Snow Flower, in 19th Century China.

Laotongs were contracted to be friends throughout their entire lives forming a special bond stronger than any other relationship they would have. This was very special in 19th Century China, and was a relationship that most women were not lucky enough to have. When Lily and Snow Flower cannot be together they write to each other on a fan in a secret language, nu shu which only women can read, and send the fan back and forth to each of their villages. They are incredibly close and share many important events; from foot binding, to marriage, to becoming pregnant, even war, and illness.

Lisa See writes this beautiful story about the incredible culture, trials of being a girl, and the hardships of life in 19th Century China. The story is filled with sadness, and pain, and is incredibly beautiful at the same time.

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