Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

by Lisa See

I have been too busy reading to blog, but I guess I just have to do some catching up here.

I cried so much while reading the book my husband got quite alarmed. I tried to explain to him what the story was about (as I truly want to share it, though it was a miserable attempt) and that started another round of tears and sniffles.

This book is hauntingly beautiful, as exquisite as a handcrafted fan, as delicate as the nushu, and as intricate as an embroidery. Every time I opened the book, I fell mesmerized into the world of Lily and Snow Flower. The writer spent a lot of time and work on researches and it shows, as rather than portraying a generic Chinese village, she paints a vivid picture of the special locale and its unique culture.

I heard of nushu a while back, but all I know could be summarized in one line: developed in
China, nushu is the world’s only language exclusively for use by female. It’s a secret code for women to express themselves to each other, behind men’s back.

I read The Kite Runner a few weeks ago, and somehow end up comparing the two. Both tell of a wrongdoing that breaks up a friendship that is close like siblings, a wrongdoing that imepairably damaged the relationship and left both scarred for life, and the protagonist’s attempt at redemption. Both stories are masterfully crafted and very moving, but to me, Snow Flower feels less forced, and the story never loses momentum like Kite Runner does.

 

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Published in: on November 21, 2006 at 5:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

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