Michele's Reviews > Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
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's review
Feb 05, 2008

it was amazing
Read in January, 2008

** spoiler alert ** I just finished this book today. I can't recommend this book highly enough. I need to spend a day or two reflecting on the story to complete this review!

OK-Here is my review: This is a fascinating, well researched book about the lives of two girls who grew up in China in the 19th century during a time when women were not respected or cherished, and painful footbinding was part of their growing up years. The book is well researched and gives compelling insight into Chinese culture, including superstitions, values and beliefs during that time. The book gave a remarkable account of the childhoods and adulthoods of the two main characters, Lily and Snow Flower. You really need to read the book to capture the depth and complexities of their intimate and binding relationship. There were several surprises in this book that I wasn't prepared for at all and I won't go into detail about them. Maybe I didn't need to put a spoiler alert on for this review? I must say that one of the unexpected turns that took place was when Lily jumped to the wrong conclusion about a message she had from Snow Flower. OK, spoiler coming. Stop here if you don't want to know what happened. Lily mistook what Snow Flower said to her in a message. As a result, she was devestated, felt betrayed, and for her their friendship ended at that moment. Rather than engage in a dialog between her laotong, she emotionally shut herself off from the relationship. Snow Flower, who was unsure why Lily had cut her off, made attempts to communicate with her but, Lily felt too betrayed to respond or acknowlege these attempts. However, when Lily learned that Snow Flower was terminally ill, she went to be at her bedside and nurse her, never leaving her side. It was only after Snow Flower died that evidence turned up that Lily completely misinterpreted the devestating message from Snow Flower. So, Lily had to learn to deal with the guilt of the pain she caused Snow Flower with her painful rejection as well as the guilt she felt from a particular day when she verbally lashed out her angry feelings to Snow Flower saying words that she could never take back. The rest of the book, of course, is the story of how Lily goes on to honor her "old same" Snow Flower and make up her mistakes by embracing the future of grandchild so she would have a better future. This is my favorite book of all time! Highly recommended!
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Vanessa I have this in the other room, and I was going to start the Handmaids Tale tonight, but maybe I will go and get that one.

Michele I think you should read this next and we can discuss it with Linda at the next "Bunco"

Vanessa Jenny Nellis is reading it currently too. We can include her, but only on line. I started it last night, but didnt get too far.

Vanessa 1/28/2008 I am just reading the part about the foot binding. This is a fascinating book, I can tell I am going to really be into it.

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