I have to say, this book took me by surprise. It was chosen by my book club and I went into it not knowing anything about it. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan turned out to be a compelling book though and I really enjoyed it.
The story is written as an autobiography of Lily and is an account of her life, mainly around her relationship with Snow Flower. They were matched together as young girls and went through many trials and tribulations to end up in places very different from where they each began.
While reading, I felt completely immersed in 19th century China and loved all the details about the time period, even if they were often horrifying. The chapter about the girls beginning their foot binding was particularly difficult to read because it was such an awful process, but at the same time you could understand why they had to do it. That pretty much became the theme of the book as the women were constantly being forced to do things that they didn't really want to because that was tradition and the way things were done. There was no changing it and no one wanted to disgrace their family.
In the end, I couldn't put it down and I definitely recommend it. I'm glad I read it and it gave me a better understanding of the culture and time period during which it took place. ...more