- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks; Reprint edition (May 26, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0812980352
- ISBN-13: 978-0812980356
- Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,637 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel Paperback – Deckle Edge, May 26, 2009
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“Lisa See has written her best book yet. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is achingly beautiful, a marvel of imagination of a real and secret world that has only recently disappeared. It is a story so mesmerizing the pages float away and the story remains clearly before us from beginning to end.”—Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club and The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings
“I was mesmerized by this wondrous book–the story of a secret civilization of women, who actually lived in China not long ago. . . . Magical, haunting fiction. Beautiful.”—Maxine Hong Kingston, author of The Fifth Book of Peace
“Only the best novelists can do what Lisa See has done, to bring to life not only a character but an entire culture, and a sensibility so strikingly different from our own. This is an engrossing and completely convincing portrayal of a woman shaped by suffering forced upon her from her earliest years, and of the friendship that helps her to survive.”
–Arthur Golden, author of Memoirs of a Geisha
“[A] marvelous narrative . . . a timeless portrait of a contentious, full-blooded female friendship.”—Entertainment Weekly (Editor’s Choice)
“An achingly beautiful, understated and absorbing story of love [that] evokes the work of Jane Austen.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer
“A triumph on every level, a beautiful, heartbreaking story.”—Washington Post Book World
“Both heartbreaking and heartbreakingly lovely . . . immerses the reader in an unimagined world . . . The characters and their surroundings come vibrantly alive.”—Denver Post
About the Author
Lisa See is the New York Times bestselling author of Peony in Love, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Flower Net (an Edgar Award nominee), The Interior, and Dragon Bones, as well as the critically acclaimed memoir On Gold Mountain. The Organization of Chinese American Women named her the 2001 National Woman of the Year. She lives in Los Angeles.
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Recently, I purchased the kindle version of the book even though I own the paperback simply because I didn’t wanted to read it again and after Kindle it’s hard to go back. I deeply urge you to purchase the Kindle version because it features the explanations of many different new-to-us traditions and subtext accessible by a mere poke onto the blue text, reading even further into the fascinating subtext, then poking the blue text right back out into the story like so many books that might feature footnotes. These “footnotes” have further increased the enjoyment of this book for me easily 10 fold and I am early on. If you want to read it, this is the way.
This was a beautifully written novel and a great story. I really liked it. When a story can move me to tears in more than one place, the author has done a perfect job of writing!
In nineteenth century China, a girl from a poor family is paired into a lifelong female friendship match with a girl from a family of a higher social standing. So her life begins, and we learn about it through her own eyes, as she is growing up. Not only does Snow Flower and the Secret Fan extensively cover the woman’s place and life in pre-modern China, but it’s also a tale about sisterhood, trust and empathy, as well as just being a good human being, no matter what your circumstances are — or failing to be one.
This book includes a lot of detail on Chinese customs, especially regarding women’s life and circumstances, and the main premise also hangs on the concept of nu shu, a somewhat secret writing system that the Chinese women taught from generation to generation, as they were forbidden to learn men’s writing and had no other means to communicate with the families they were forced to leave behind when they married.