**spoiler alert** This is the first non-Christian, adult fiction book I have read in years. This book renewed my love for reading.
Although this novel**spoiler alert** This is the first non-Christian, adult fiction book I have read in years. This book renewed my love for reading.
Although this novel was set in Ancient China, for me, themes resonated with current events in my life.
While I do have a car and can go out anytime I wish, I can also relate to the "upper room." I am a home school mom and spend most of my day in an "upper room" homeschooling my children. In the evenings, I am at my desk in the same "upper room" working from home as a medical transcriptionist. If I am not careful to remember to schedule a lunch date with a friend or hit up some new model homes I have not explored yet, I (and my many friends who are home school moms) relegate ourselves to the inner chambers of our home, yes, even in second millennial America!
Even as footbinding was a way of securing their daughter's futures, home schooling is also an effort to lift our children's minds above our country's mediocre emphasis on the education of our children. They broke their daughter's bones and bound their feet. We break off perceived negative cultural influences and bind our children's minds with classical literature, Latin, and logic.
As a bereaved mother myself, there were other parts of this book that touched me personally as well. "Mother love" is eternal and transcendent. It can be harsh, but it is also desperate. The ceremony that takes place before the daughters marry out where they cry and sing and thank their mothers for raising a "worthless daughter" is touching because they are honest that they really do not consider their daughters to be "worthless" despite of what society thinks of them. Losing a daughter to death, marriage, or any other circumstance is always heartrending.
Lily, in many ways, reminded me of a close relative of mine. One misunderstood statement can produce a VERY long grudge. She answers hurts that she cannot relate to with stereotypical platitudes, "Just try harder." On the other hand, like Lily, when she perceived a gap in Spring Moon's life after the death of her mother, she went into overdrive trying to fill it, probably confusing the girl's reluctance to marriage as simply grief over Snowflower's passing. This close relative and another friend in my life sometimes work so hard at "helping" that they cannot actually see the real pain and end up adding to it.
Lisa See is a fascinating story teller. Nothing in this book was predictable and it always kept me on the edge of my seat. ...more
I read this book after my fascination with Snowflower and the Secret Fan.
Peony in love begins with a bound-footed daughter of a wealthy family awaitinI read this book after my fascination with Snowflower and the Secret Fan.
Peony in love begins with a bound-footed daughter of a wealthy family awaiting her upcoming arranged marriage. He father has an opera of the Peony Pavilion staged and from there her life, and death begin to mirror that of Liniang, the main character of the Peony Pavilion.
Against the backdrop of civil resistance to the newly established Manchu government, Lisa See's gift of storytelling is irresistible, even though I went unwillingly into the realm of the Chinese view of the afterlife.
One thing I did enjoy about the book was the afterlife relationship of daughter/grandmother, daughter/mother, wife/mother-in-law. I also enjoyed Peony's journey to maturity, even as a ghost, in her love for the men in her life, specifically the grandfather she just barely remembered, her father, and her husband.
I love this quote: "Gone were my girlish ideas about romantic love and my later ideas about sexual love. From Yi, I learned to appreciate deep-heart love." ...more
Being raised Pentecostal, it was helpful to learn WHY I believed certain things. I also learned to throw out things that I was just taught out of tradBeing raised Pentecostal, it was helpful to learn WHY I believed certain things. I also learned to throw out things that I was just taught out of tradition. As my husband says, "Eat the meat and throw away the bones." I also love the Word Wealth sections that give the Greek and Hebrew roots of words. Once you get started inductively delving into it, it is hard to just do "surface" reading anymore....more
This is one family's struggle to obtain an above average education for their three highly intelligent African American sons in America. I was impresseThis is one family's struggle to obtain an above average education for their three highly intelligent African American sons in America. I was impressed and encouraged by their desparate struggle. I also enjoyed a few laughs as well....more