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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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The Ghost Bride: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; First edition edition (August 6, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062227327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062227324
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Choo’s remarkably strong and arresting first novel explores the concept of Chinese spirit marriages in late-nineteenth-­century Malaya through the eyes of the highly relatable Li Lan, a poor but spunky young woman, who is approached by the wealthy family of a dead man to become his bride. Li Lan prefers to rebuff the unusual offer despite its implications of good social standing and financial rescue for her money-strapped family. But when her dreams are brusquely invaded by the rather unsavory dead man, Lim Tian Ching, she realizes she may already be in over her head. Her dead suitor’s living cousin, Tian Bai, now the family heir, further complicates matters as Li Lan wrestles with her very real attraction to him. As the angry ghost becomes more possessive in her dreams, and his family more demanding that she marry him, Li Lan’s involvement with the Lim family becomes even murkier and potentially dangerous. With its gripping tangles of plot and engaging characters, this truly compelling read is sure to garner much well-deserved attention. --Julie Trevelyan


"'The Ghost Bride', an impressive first novel, takes readers on one of the wildest rides since Alice fell down the rabbit hole." (San Jose Mercury News)

"What makes all this work is the sumptuous world of Chinese émigré culture and the love story that flows under it all--the kind so full of longing, the pages practically sigh as you turn each one." (Book of the Week -

“Choo’s clear and charming style creates an alternate reality where the stakes are just as high as in the real world, combining grounded period storytelling with the supernatural.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Captivating epic . . . [this] impressive first novel takes readers on one of the wildest rides since Alice fell down the rabbit hole.” (San Jose Mercury News)

“Choo’s remarkably strong and arresting first novel…is sure to garner much well-deserved attention.” (Booklist)

“Choo’s fascinating debut . . . rich in Chinese folklore, mores and the supernatural…intriguing and enlightening. A haunting debut.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Li Lan’s odyssey keeps her on the brink of earthly demise and keeps the reader riveted to the page . . .” (New York Journal of Books)

“Delicate and thought-provoking . . . sure to be a hit with supernatural and historical fiction fans alike.” (Library Journal)

“Unlike any book I’ve ever experienced, with its meld of historical fiction coupled with a fascinating culture, murder mystery, the wandering of spirits of the dead and not-so-dead, romance, and adventures in the afterworld . . . one revelatory experience after another.” (

More About the Author

Yangsze Choo is a fourth generation Malaysian of Chinese descent. Due to a childhood spent in various countries, she can eavesdrop (badly) in several languages. After graduating from Harvard University, she worked as a management consultant and at a startup before writing her first novel. THE GHOST BRIDE, set in colonial Malaya and the elaborate Chinese world of the afterlife, is about a peculiar historic custom called a spirit marriage.

Yangsze lives in California with her husband, two children, and a potential rabbit. She loves to eat and read, and often does both at the same time.

Customer Reviews

Very interesting story, surprises and unexpected events.
Alexandra S. Morgan
I love the way that Choo brings out many beliefs and customs of the culture she's writing about while weaving a wonderful story with engaging characters.
Books Complete Me Unlimited
It is one of those books that you can't put down but never want to end.
Margaret M Venables

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Patto TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Li Lan, a beautiful young woman in Malaya, has the misfortune to enchant the spirit of a man recently dead. Her attempts to elude his repulsive desires (he wants to marry her) lead her into frightening adventures in the underworld.

This book is a rare experience of total emersion in exotic Chinese beliefs about the afterlife. We follow Li Lan into a bizarre world of hungry ghosts, demons, deities and human spirits wending their way toward reincarnation. Chaotic as it seems at times, there are strict rules governing the management of the dead. Li Lan makes near-fatal mistakes, but she's also resourceful enough to save herself from one awful fate after another.

The author is a gifted storyteller. The characters, living and dead, are tormented by jealousies, selfishness, and schemes of vengeance. TheIr intrigues are fascinating. Li Lan, a well brought up young lady with a good education, is naturally kind and considerate -- and therefore vulnerable to tricksters. Her sweetness gets her into trouble, but it also attracts love. She's a delightful heroine, combining a good heart with a taste for the forbidden.

Although there's a fairy tale quality to the story, the plot is concrete and full of incident. Not only is this a wild otherworldly love story, it' s also a kind of thriller of the spirit world. It is so skillfully written that the most fantastic scenes feel utterly real. I loved every minute of it.

There are excellent notes by the author in the back of the book about the arcane folk tradition of ghost marriages, Chinese notions of the afterlife, and Chinese communities in Malaya (now Malaysia). Highly recommended for adventurous readers.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Nitty's Mom TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When you start your book with a notable first sentence such as:

"One evening, my father asked me whether I would like to become a ghost bride"

you had better be able to deliver, and WOW does this debut author do just that. Not since "The Night Circus" has a book been so astonishingly rich in visuals and imagination. Typically not the type of book I would gravitate towards, however, the structure, prose, pacing and characters are so extraordinary I would feel confident recommending for anybody.

The story takes place in Malaya in 1893. Li Lan is a bright and adventurous 18 year old from a once noble family who has lost their fortune. Her father has never reconciled to his wife's death and spends his days smoking opium. Her Amah (nanny) has raised Li Lan and is the glue that holds the family together. Due to their diminished circumstances, her father asks Li Lan if she would like to become a ghost bride for the wealthy Lim family? Their son, Lim Tian Ching had taken a fancy to Li Lan before his untimely death, which may have been a murder. Though she vehemently rejects this proposal the insolent and spoiled Lim Tian Ching will not take no for an answer and begins to haunt her dreams. During a visit to the Lim mansion, Li Lan meets their nephew Tian Bai who is now the heir to the Lim family fortune. He evokes the exact opposite feelings in Li Lan, who is dismayed to learn that their arrangement to be married has been dissolved due to the death of his cousin. Tortured by her dreams and in a weakened state, Li Lan and her Amah consult a medium who gives Li Lan a powder to drink before bed and tells her to burn money for the dead. Let the adventure begin.............
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Joan A. Adamak VINE VOICE on May 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In the back of this book are Notes explaining some of the Chinese myths, which are the basis for much of this story, making it more understandable and a page turner.

Li Lan, an attractive young Chinese maiden, whose mother was deceased, her father was an heavy opium smoker who allowed the family finances to disintegrate. Her father was approached by a wealthy family whose son, Lim Tian Ching, had died and although he was now a ghost, the family wanted Li Lan to marry this deceased son, thereby becoming a ghost bride. Although it would not be a physical marriage, she would be treated as a daughter-in-law, her family's bills all be paid and she would be treated as a wealthy widow. Li Lan was aware of this practice, but was not interested. Soon she began having nightmares where she met Lim in her dreams and he showed her all he owned and what she might expect to get by becoming his bride. Actually he was rather repugnant to her and she resisted these dreams, although he continued to persistently haunt her. Her Amah had educated her regarding the various ghosts and effects of this spiritual world after death.

Later she met his half-brother Tian Bai, to whom she was attracted. He repaired clocks as a hobby and because of Lim's death, would become head of this household upon their father's death. Li was an inquisitive woman, couldn't leave well enough alone, and as a result she stepped into dangerous waters of the afterlife, death, living dead, living ghosts and the many rules and actions of those who died, or hung around neither dead nor alive. She met many strange people as she attempted to understand this world as she was drawn more and more into it.

Although this is basically a ghost story, I could not wait to see what would happen next.
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