News & Interviews
Gay and Lesbian
Humor and Comedy
Ask the Author
Rachel’s review of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
> Likes and Comments
(showing 1-5 of 5)
post a comment »
(last edited Jul 12, 2008 08:54PM)
Jul 12, 2008 08:54PM
I agree about the book being completely riveting. It must have been strange to read What is the What? so close to this one.
Actually, I'm considering taking a star off What is the What? because of what you've written; you're refreshing my memory. (I'll think about that.)
But, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is pure fiction, isn't it? Yes, Lisa See did a lot of research and I believe she depicted well what life was like for women in this time and place, but all of the characters are fictional. Right?
I agree with you 100% about what you said about the suffering of those in each book. Deng is now in the U.S., presumably with funds and education at this point, although he certainly suffered. The women shown in this book had no way at all out of their circumstances and their suffering was immense.
And where was that opium anyway?! It was shown as a drug of abuse, but didn't they have it available for physical pain?!?!
(last edited Jul 13, 2008 11:16AM)
Jul 13, 2008 11:06AM
Lisa, yes, Lisa wrote her book based on STORIES of real people, and the characters in the book do not necessarily match up with real people that we know about from the 1800s. She was free to write her own tale, but she wove in many of the real details from women she met in her trip to China, and she used real historical details about the rebellion and the emperors, etc. Just as much as Eggers' story could be considered a composite of the many experiences of the Lost Boys, I think Lisa See's story could be considered a composite of Chinese women's experiences back in that time period.
My point here is that Dave Eggers decided to make his book FICTION, not a true biography. Since his book was fiction, there was nothing preventing him from making the book just as engrossing and powerful as Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. I believe this is true even though Dave Eggers' story was based on a specific real person, while Lisa See's was not. In fact, with VAD's incredible, epic story as the base material, and with the advantage of being able to personally talk to VAD to get all the details, Eggers' fiction version should have been even more engrossing and powerful.
Jul 13, 2008 11:30AM
My point here is that Dave Eggers decided to make his book FICTION, not a true biography. Since his book was fiction, there was nothing preventing him from making the book just as engrossing and powerful as Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.
I agree with you.
(last edited Sep 17, 2008 05:34PM)
Sep 17, 2008 05:31PM
One more thing I forgot to bring up in my review of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan ...
Where did that whole vegetarianism subplot come from? Lisa and I read this book as part of our vegetarian book club. I was surprised that the author had Auntie tell the story about the woman married to a butcher who became vegetarian. Later on, Snow Flower become vegetarian, as if following in the footsteps of the woman in the story. And then Lily, too, toward the end of the book!
Also, what did you think about how people thought it was so awful and unclean to be married to a butcher? How did it makes sense for these people to shun butchers, who were simply slaughtering the animals that the people themselves desired to eat?
... I realize a lot of the things the people did back then didn't make sense, like binding feet and not valuing daughters. I guess this "We Love Meat, and We Hate Butchers" mentality is just one more example.
I feel like I used to never read books with any mention of vegetarian characters or vegetarian issues, but I'm seeing more and more of it lately. Heck, even Elphaba from the book Wicked was vegetarian. (Although Elphaba apparently ate cheese, which would have been a total no-no for someone with beliefs such as hers; the inclusion of cheese in Elphaba's diet was probably an oversight on the author's part.)
Sep 17, 2008 08:47PM
Rachel, Well, I don't think it's any different that today. Most people let other people kill & grow their food for them. The nice aseptic packages of various meats in the supermarket keeps consumers protected from what is involved in the food animals' journeys.
back to top
post a comment »
Add a reference:
Search for a book to add a reference
Flagging a post will send it to the Goodreads Customer Care team for review. We take abuse seriously in our discussion boards. Only flag comments that clearly need our attention. As a general rule we do not censor any content on the site. The only content we will consider removing is spam, slanderous attacks on other members, or extremely offensive content (eg. pornography, pro-Nazi, child abuse, etc). We will not remove any content for bad language alone, or being critical of a particular book.
© 2016 Goodreads Inc
authors & advertisers blog
Welcome back. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.