Snow Flower and the Secret Fan – By Lisa See
On the back cover:
In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl names Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, or “old same,” in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she has written a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men. As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on the fan compose stories, and accomplishments. They both endure the agony of foot binding and together reflect upon their arranged marriages, shared 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 deep friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart.
This was a book club pick, but also came highly recommended by a friend.
I really liked this story; I read it in three days and found it fascinating when Lily described the foot binding, something I know very little about.
I understand so much more about that culture and why women did it.
Ultimately this is a story about two lifelong friends where a simple misunderstanding changes everything, what I liked is the story is more about them and their friendship. As a reader you then get a chance to really feel the impact of their loss.
It is very well told and really opens your eyes to another culture, I know very little about but find extremely fascinating.
My rating: 4 out of 5.