January 2008

January 2008

When: Friday, January 25th @ 7pm
Where: Beth’s House
Book: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

From Publishers Weeklysnowflower.jpg
Starred Review. See’s engrossing novel set in remote 19th-century China details the deeply affecting story of lifelong, intimate friends (laotong, or “old sames”) Lily and Snow Flower, their imprisonment by rigid codes of conduct for women and their betrayal by pride and love. While granting immediacy to Lily’s voice, See (Flower Net) adroitly transmits historical background in graceful prose. Her in-depth research into women’s ceremonies and duties in China’s rural interior brings fascinating revelations about arranged marriages, women’s inferior status in both their natal and married homes, and the Confucian proverbs and myriad superstitions that informed daily life. Beginning with a detailed and heartbreaking description of Lily and her sisters’ foot binding (“Only through pain will you have beauty. Only through suffering will you have peace”), the story widens to a vivid portrait of family and village life. Most impressive is See’s incorporation of nu shu, a secret written phonetic code among women—here between Lily and Snow Flower—that dates back 1,000 years in the southwestern Hunan province (“My writing is soaked with the tears of my heart,/ An invisible rebellion that no man can see”). As both a suspenseful and poignant story and an absorbing historical chronicle, this novel has bestseller potential and should become a reading group favorite as well.
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5 thoughts on “January 2008

  1. Beth Carroll

    Yay the new website looks great! Thank you to Amanda for doing such a magnificent job!

    I thought this book was fantastic, I can’t wait to hear what everyone else thought. 🙂

  2. Amanda

    Thanks, Beth! I thought the book was great too! I am sad that I have to be out of town on Friday…looking forward to next month!

  3. Katie Iltis

    The website is great! I’m excited about the next month book options. I think the “Thirteenth Tale” would be a good one…but that’s just my two cents. See everyone Friday 🙂

  4. Shelley

    Site looks GREAT!!! Pretty birdies. 🙂 So, Secret Fan was so good. Lots of good things to talk about. See ya!