Friday, September 12, 2008

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan


So another attempt to escape from the stress of work I have begun to read again. Based on a recommendation from a very good friend, I read the book called Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, by Lisa See.
I couldn't put it down. It is a novel based in 19th century China. And the premise of the book is two friends or laotong, "old same", who are paired together at a very young age and live their lives together in all senses of what that means. The two girls had to match birth dates, be in the same birth order in both families, have the same size foot, etc. They became emotional matches for life. In addition, the book introduced me to nu shu, which was the secret writing of women in the Chinese culture. Women would literally paint these words to each other in secret. Men of this time did not read nu shu. It was just for women. A way to share their hopes and dreams in a world that did not value women, except to bear a son.
The book follows these two girls through their lives, from footbinding to marriage, and having a son, which is only what made their status in the household more important. It was an extremely interesting read, with quite the story of friendship and how things can become difficult or strained in a close relationship, just because of a misunderstanding.

If you are looking for a good book, I would recommend this one.

2 comments:

Amy and Andrew said...

Oooh! That sounds fantastic!

AP said...

Always looking for a good read!