Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Kindle Õ Snow Flower

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan [Ebook] ➨ Snow Flower and the Secret Fan By Lisa See – In nineteenth century China in a remote Hunan county a girl named Lily at the tender age of seven is paired with a laotong “old same” in an emotional match that will last a lifetime The laotong Sn In nineteenth century China in and the PDF ↠ a remote Hunan county a girl named Lily at the tender age of seven is paired with a laotong “old same” in an emotional match that will last a Snow Flower Kindle - lifetime The laotong Snow Flower introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she’s painted a poem in nu shu a uniue language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret Flower and the ePUB ☆ away from the influence of menAs the years pass Lily and Snow Flower send messages on fans compose stories on handkerchiefs reaching out of isolation to share their hopes dreams and accomplishments Together they endure the agony of foot binding and reflect upon their arranged marriages shared loneliness and the joys and tragedies of motherhood The two find solace developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive But when a misunderstanding arises their deep friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart.

10 thoughts on “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

  1. Jeana Jeana says:

    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 come It bothered me that daughters were considered better off if they died than to live And I thought Lily perpetuated that as unfeeling as the patriarchs who instilled that thought process to begin with And don't get me started on footbinding I know this is a cultural thing that I cannot begin to comprehend such as people who think that is just the way life is but still how could they not think this through? I mean one of of ten girls died from footbinding And not only does it make the foot look grotesue which they thought was beautiful but they were practically crippled for the rest of their lives They had to be carried most distances after the age of six It's simply ridiculous But reading this book made me want to learn to embroider I know it sounds ridiculous but I was actually looking for embroidery classes in the area where I could learn how to do it And I want to do it with my daughter The visual of these women embroidering together It's just beautiful There were so many beautiful uotes that I thought I'd list my favoritesThis thought is a real comfort to me Everyone knows that part of the spirit descends to the afterworld while part of it remains with the family but we have a special belief about the spirit of a young woman who has died before her marriage that goes contrary to this She comes back to prey upon other unmarried girls not to scare them but to take them to the afterworld with her so she might have company This is particarly interesting to me because after my daughter died Biance would tell me about going to heaven with Miranda every night while she dreamed Another uote I liked about teachersThe classics tell us that in relationships the one between teacher and student comes second only to the one between parent and childThe last one is a bit lengthy but I like it nonethelessIf it is perfectly acceptable for a widow to disfigure herself or commit suicide to save face for her husband's family why should a mother not be moved to extreme action by the loss of a child or children? We are their caretakers We love them We nurse them when they are sick But no woman should live longer than her children It is against the law of nature If she does why wouldn't she wish to leap from a cliff hang from a branch or swallow lye?Overall this was a sad beautiful book

  2. Erika Erika says:

    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 kept 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

  3. Cassy Cassy says:

    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 feet 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 learn it is possible to change your foot size It’s called foot binding And you know what? I’ll pass I enjoy being able to wiggle my toes and jump around So thank you Lisa See For once in my life I am content with my big feet And I owe it all to your graphic descriptions of this ancient Chinese method Blood putrefaction pain breaking bones risk of death I cannot believe those women were subjected to such brutal mutilation for the sake of beauty Then they were still expected to clean the house perched on those tiny unstable feetThe foot binding portion of the book was the highlight for me The inspiration for the book was nu shu a written language developed by Chinese women and kept secret from men for hundreds of years Yawn I didn’t find that part of the story very compelling or even believable Didn’t men wonder why the ladies kept ink and brushes in their room? Beyond the foot biding event and nu shu device this was really a story about a female friendship that was deep and even erotic at times Putting aside any problems with the plot their emotions toward each other were complex and meaningful There was hope and joy but mostly there was pain During an event with Lisa last night she spoke of how depressing writing can be She doesn’t always wake up raring to write Instead she may dread knowing she has to go to a dark internal place to write about a character’s death or betrayal Even worse she may have to stay in that mindset for days or weeks until that section is completely written I spend so much time glamorizing a writer’s lifestyle that I had not fully considered how emotionally draining it could be I suspected the career engenders self doubt “Will people like what I’ve written?” Yet I had never thought about the struggle Lisa described to create and inhabit the internal emotional environment necessary to produce the actual wordsI commend Lisa for giving us a realistic look at the treatment of and expectations for women in that day and age Women were isolated and undervalued Their worth was determined solely by whether they could produce sons But honestly my main complaint about the book is how depressing it was I kept waiting for some great act of heroism Yet the women stuck to their traditional roles The main character not only repeated the indoctrination she believed it “My role in life is to obey obey obey” Sure they rebelled in small ways but always within the confines of their societal roles I kept routing for one character to leave an abusive husband or at very least stand up to her oppressive mother in law Normally I criticize authors for deviating from historical facts in order to cater to a modern readership This time I think Lisa stayed so true to the setting that she turned me off And her heavy handed foreshadowing didn’t help Life was hard for women back then I get it But does that make for an enjoyable read? Not really And I think that was my problem I had the wrong expectations as I entered this book It wasn't a sprawling historical epic filled with exciting action heart fluttering romance and distant voyages like Shogun one of the few other historical fictions I have read that are set in Asia It was a largely uiet book about uiet life Lisa herself admitted she writes sad books And when she started this book no one thought it would be successful China? Women? Gloom? No one will read that Well she proved them wrong Lots of people read it Heck I read it Even people will probably see the movieAnd it’s worth reading It made me appreciate the freedom women enjoy today as well as the potential depth of female friendship Not to mention I’m looking down at my feet right now and thinking “hell yeah that’s one beautiful ergonomic piece of evolution – and just the right size

  4. Dem Dem says:

    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

  5. Candi Candi says:

    For my entire life I longed for love I knew 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 Lily 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 

  6. Michele Michele says:

    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 to know 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 known 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

  7. Petra-Eggs Sunny Side Up Petra-Eggs Sunny Side Up says:

    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 kept drifting off and by the time I was conscious of reading again I wouldn't know 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

  8. Rowena Rowena says:

    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 know who decided that 7 centimetre long feet were “sexy” The obsession with feet truly perplexed me; how could young men know 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 Instead of protecting women in society women were made to feel worthless and their lives are also 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

  9. Cecily Cecily says:

    Read and reviewed in 2008 Review updated in 2020 without rereading the book to focus on secret languagesThis is a first person tale of a Chinese girl in mid the 19th century It's a poignant story that uietly teaches a lot about the culture of the time and place poverty footbinding marriage and particularly sisterhoodlaotong a legalistic long term exclusive old same friendship with another girl Image A secret fan from the BBC article link belowI enjoyed as it progressed and you see different sides to the main charactersNǚshū the secret language of womenThis book was my introduction to Nǚshū a script women used to support each other especially in the early days after marriage I've occasionally read about Nǚshū since then and again just now October 2020 in a Language Log post and the somewhat romanticised BBC article it links to The apparent contradiction that annoyed me a dozen years ago that an illiterate mother writes something for her grandmother's funeral only 15 pages later is a mere misunderstanding many of the women who learned Nǚshū were illiterate in regular Chinese characters But they were not obviously illiterate in NǚshūI think Nǚshū is even aesthetically pleasing than normal Chinese calligraphy and both articles are worth reading click the links in the paragraph above Image Nǚshū from the Language Log article link aboveOther gendered languages?Sociologists observe differences in the spoken written and body language of men and women John Gray probably mentions it at exaggerated length in Men Are from Mars Women Are from Venus The difference is that it's a spectrum of the same language men women and anyone in between are to some extent aware of these differences I do wonder how secret Nǚshū really was I assume some men knew of its existence and probably a few learned it How much might that dilute its usefulness? I've wondered the same about the police's Ask for Angela scheme a discreet phrase customers can say to bar staff if they feel threatened A nice idea but it's widely advertised Abusers will know of itThere's irony in the fact that Today much of what we know about Nüshu is due to the work of male researcher BBC article

  10. Lisa Vegan Lisa Vegan says:

    I ended up enjoying this book because it was so beautifully written and it took me deep into a world so unlike my own; thank goodness for 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 know” or “as everyone knows” is used to start a sentence and I just kept thinking that if everyone 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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *