There are many topics I know little or nothing about. The everyday life of a farming family in 19th Century China is one of those topics. After reading "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan", I feel as if I had a brief glance into the culture. Lisa See was able to take a topic foreign (pardon the pun) to me, and make me both understand the dynamic and care about the characters and outcome.
The story was facinating and easy to follow, even though the topic was not common knowledge. I believe it takes a great amount of skill to introduce an American reader to a different time and place in an engrossing way. The author accomplished this.
I'd have enjoyed if the book had developed the other relationships Lily had in the book as well: wife to husband, mother to her children, daughter to her mother, etc., but understand that the essence of the story was "old same" to "old same."
This book was engaging, and deserved the time spend reading it.