Stead of protecting women in society women were to feel worthless And Lives Are their lives are put into peril It was truly heartbreaking Lisa See brilliantly captured the reality of Chinese life in the past I also thought that part of the book about the laotang and sisterhood was lovely as well as the parts about the secret writing and the art of storytelling Definitely a great book but not one that I d ever read again it s too distressing For my entire life I longed for love I new it was not right for me as a girl and later as a woman to want or expect it but I did and this unjustified desire has been at the root of every problem I have experienced in my lifeWhat a sad yet beautiful book this was I adore historical fiction that can really immerse me in another time and place and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan did just that Transported back to 19th century China I believe I arrived at a better understanding of a woman s position in this society I learned what it was like to be a daughter a sister a wife and a daughter in law I am admittedly grateful for not ever having to experience these often overwhelmingly harsh relationships in the way that these women did Not for an instant can I imagine having to yearn for my mother s love with the feeling that it was something impossible to attain And I most certainly could not fathom bending to my mother in law s every command and needing to act as a lowly visitor in her home even as the wife of her own son The cultural practice of footbinding was truly horrific and cringeworthy If you like me decide to google any images please consider yourself forewarned that it really does look as awful and disfiguring as you would no doubt imagine Yet a young girl s future and her marriageability depended heavily on the result of this archaic practice The one relationship that I found endearing and one that transcends both time and culture is that of a true friendship This #Is So Beautifully Demonstrated In The Bond Between The Narrator #so beautifully demonstrated in the bond between the narrator and Snow Flower her old same Lisa See really brings to life the nuances of their lifelong friendship which began as little girls with a contract sealing their fates in a laotong relationship A laotong match is as significant as a good marriage A laotong relationship is made by choice for the purpose of emotional companionship and eternal fidelity A marriage is not made by choice and has only one purpose to have sons We see the girls grow up together and experience the joys of childhood friendship laughing dreaming and mourning together The women s secret form of writing or nu shu begins with the communication between the little girls on the folds of a special fan that will provide a chronicle of their extraordinary relationship throughout their lives As married women they experience both the happiness and the sorrow of giving birth and living under the heavy thumbs of their husbands and mothers in law in households that scorn rather than cherish them And as with some friendships these women experience the differences in social standings within a community and suffer from misunderstandings and ultimate betrayal Can a friendship really withstand anything This is a wonderful book for anyone interested in the culture of China during this period and those that enjoy reading about the various connections between women If you ve ever had a true friend this book will truly speak to you and perhaps make you just a tad nostalgic about the carefree days when you could hope and giggle with your own bestie I had high hopes for this book but ended up feeling deflated and disappointed Two aspects of the book were interesting descriptions of the practice of Chinese footbinding and an exploration of nu shu the written language Chinese women developed to communicate exclusively with each other Unfortunately the book also has two major problems a boring story and the use of cheap gimmicks instead of complex characterization The story deals with two girls who are matched as old sames sort of a best girlfriend relationship that is meant to last for life Unfortunately the story of their friendship is just not compelling and I ept feeling like the author missed the opportunity to tell a really interesting story within the context of the world she creates Aside from being boring the worst sin in fiction I was also disappointed with the way she handled the intimacy of the friendship between the two women using what I call the cheap and easy Hollywood method for showing intimacy In other words she introduces sexual elements to show us just how close these two women really are rather than really taking us inside the complex world that is the relationship between two best girlfriends I thought it was a really shallow treatment of a very deep subject It was hugely disappointingI don t recommend it. L cuore le cui vite un tempo erano così intimamente legate Ora ottuagenaria e tormentata dai rimorsi Giglio Bianco ripensa al proprio passato e a Fiore di Neve scomparsa ormai da molti anni Prima di morire infatti desidera onorare l'amica raccontandone la storia rivelando la verità. ,
I ended up enjoying this book because it #was
SO BEAUTIFULLY AND IT TOOK ME DEEP INTO Abeautifully and it took me deep into a so unlike my own thank goodness #so beautifully written and it took deep into a world so unlike my own thank goodness that This story takes place in China s Hunan Province in the 1800s and is about the inner lives of the women than the men I had a complete misconception of what foot binding entailed It s completely different and so much brutal a practice than I ever could have imagined There were also many examples given of what I consider other horrendous customs and beliefs I ve always believed that tradition and culture that harms is not worth preserving and reading about these people s lives was a painful experience The story is fiction but well researched so I m assuming there was much truth about how women led their lives in that time and place I was able to feel some empathy for the storywriter because I could understand her longing to be loved and the difficulties she had in her upbringing that formed her personality even though I sometimes had a hard time liking her and many of the characters I was also irritated by so much of the book I loathe stories where there s a horrible miscommunication or misunderstanding that seems so unnecessary and there s an example of that here Also throughout the book the narrator is writing the story of her life for anotherothers in her culture to read yet the whole time I felt she was educating us in our time places So freuently the line as you now or as everyone nows is used to start a sentence and I just ept thinking that if everyone A Certain Justice (Adam Dalgliesh, knows it the narrator wouldn t need to say it in that way The narrator also most of the way through the book alludes to something she s going to tell the reader and it got to the point where instead of following along with the story I just wanted to see what she was going to revealI think that it s worth it to read the paperback copy because of Lisa See s notes at the end about the writing of this book Perhaps they were there in the hardcover version as well but often additions such as this aren t there at publication of the hardcover edition Also the paperback has some discussion uestions at the end which might come in handy as I read this book for my book clubThe plot characters did make me think about however women are regarded and what is considered beautiful in various cultures including our own can powerfully influence women s lives And they also highlight how our various expectations of ourselves and others imposed by our societies can influence human beings It also made me think a lot about the corrosive power of unresolved anger and trauma An Excellent Choice for Book Clubs I had a hard time putting down this book and felt utterly transported to a village in the Hunan province in central south China during the early to mid nineteenth century The narrator 80 year old Lily who refers to herself as one who has yet to die tells the story of her life She has outlived her family members and relates the story of her formative years and her relationship with another woman Snow Flower This well written tale is related with clarity sentiment and most poignantly remorse It s through remorse that the reader comes tonow the true character of Lily as she reflects upon a misunderstanding she had with her one true loveBeyond the reflection of Lily s relationship with Snow Flower a girl she meets at the age of six when they are introduced by the local matchmaker and tied by contract to forever be nown as laotongs or old sames this story provides a lesson in Chinese history and culture Many have heard of the tradition of feet binding but through Lisa See s writing one experiences the excruciating pain and the meaning behind a mother s duty to bind her worthless daughters feet It s all about marriage and of course sex At once I went to the Internet to look for images of bound feet because I had a terribly hard time visualizing a foot only seven centimeters in lengthI enjoyed every minute of reading this story and I highly recommend it I think it would make an excellent selection for book clubs given the vast number of elements to spark topics of conversation Chinese culture past and present Mother daughter relationships Foot binding Arranged marriage Female relationships Lesbian relationships Chinese history Chinese foods Chinese geography etc My grandmother used to say that my big feet meant I had a good foundation I d stare longingly at her size six feet when she said this and curse my genetic inheritance from elsewhere in the family tree Then I had an ex boyfriend make the infuriating statement that rich women have small feet I pointed out that his celebrity crush Paris Hilton yeah another reason I dumped him has huge size eleven feet My teenage self took a lot of comfort in the fact that foot size is pre ordained and unchangeable Clown sized fee. Lo sfondo è la Cina del XIX secolo uando mogli e figlie ancora avevano i piedi bendati e vivevano in uno stato di isolamento pressoché totale uando le donne di una remota contea dello Hunan ricorrevano a un codice segreto per comunicare tra loro e si scambiavano lettere tracciate T can strike the smart the rich the beautiful And there isn t a damned thing they or I could do about itThen I read this book and there isn t a damned thing they or I could do about itThen I read this book and it is possible to change your foot size It s called foot binding And you now what I ll pass I enjoy I actually wavered between giving this book a rating of 3 or 4 stars This is not because Lisa See was unable to portray the life in this feudal Chinese society well because much of this was vivid and interesting The oppression of women including the horrors of footbinding isolation and servitude to men and one s in laws were all clearly and often dismayingly illustratedOne problem with this novel is how much better the tale could have been related if written in the third person #Rather Than The Use Of Lily As Narrator After Learning #than the use of Lily as narrator After learning this book that she was a sensitive caring pledged lifelong friend she becomes a cruelselfish and
#Judgemental Harridan To Snow Flower #harridan to Snow Flower very factors were so antithetical to what was supposed to have been developed between these two women and what they had always professed would be t I tried to read it It was so non compelling who were these little mice of women what were they up to why should I care MAKE ME CARE The plot didn t the characters didn t and so I couldn t get past about page 50 My mind Cinderella Unmasked (Fairytale Fantasies kept drifting off and by the time I was conscious of reading again I wouldn tnow what had happened so I had to reread it again and again up unto the fourth rereading of the same pages Exactly the same experience I had with Rushdie s Satanic Verses So I gave up I thought it was probably me and not the book so I downloaded the film Lord was it bad or what Exactly the same experience it wasn t any interesting It s an experience I m not going to have with the Satanic Verses though I doubt there s a director still alive brave enough to make a film of that book A book is a magical thing that lets you travel to far away places without ever leaving your chair uote by Katrina Mayer This week I have time travelled to nineteenth century China 1970s Texas 1850s Louisiana and at the moment I am on a whistle stop tour with A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom by John Boyne and no 2 week isolation reuired when I return Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is my second novel by Lisa See having read Shanghai Girls a couple of years ago Set in Nineteenth Century China and is the story of Lily an 80 year old woman who at the age of seven is paired with a laotong old same in an emotional match that will last a lifetime Her story is that of a secret world of writings that women shared and ancient Chinese customs of foot bindingAn emotional and fascinating read and you cant help get drawn into the characters lives I love when a book educates as well as entertains a reader and this novel has a lot of detail on Chinese customs and culture which I really enjoyed A short book that really held my attention and another book for my real life book shelf Wow I just finished this book and wanted to come write about it immediately so I don t forget how it made me feel First off the language is beautiful and so fitting for the context The two girls Snow Flower and Lily have a friendship that is beautiful and is fun to pick out little pieces from my own childhoodcurrent friendships that I recognize and adore My next thoughts are not necessarily critiues of the book but of the way the Chinese thought I had a real problem with hearing over and over how worthless a woman is if she cannot produce a son If that were still the case I would be as worthless as they co This has got to be one of the most beautiful yet heartbreaking books that I have ever read The subject matter is horrific but the story is truly engagingThe main storyline in this book is about the horrible patriarchal practise foot binding that took place in China in the past The graphic descriptions in this book are certain to turn anyone s stomach I would like to now who decided that 7 centimetre long feet were sexy The obsession with feet truly perplexed me how could young men now nothing about their future betrothed wives except what size their feet were Obviously foot binding was a practice to control women which was a point I made to a feminist I was talking to when a man suddenly interrupted our conversation and accused us of waging a war against menAlso it s so sad how culturally women were undervalued in Chinese society They suffered so much abuse and from a very young age they were cultivated for marriage because after all all women were good for was for giving birth to sons Everything they did was to prepare them for marriage yet when they eventually married their in laws weren t even satisfied and everyone was miserable What s the point Excuse my sarcastic tone but I cannot wrap my head around how awful this part of Chinese history is In. Pennello sui ventagli o messaggi ricamati sui fazzoletti per condividere speranze sogni e conuiste E uno di uesti ventagli porta ancora il segreto del tragico euivoco che ha amaramente segnato un legame lungo una vita uello tra Giglio Bianco e Fiore di Neve la sua laotong l'amica de.