Sara's Reviews > Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
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's review
Jun 14, 2007

liked it
bookshelves: fiction
Read in April, 2007

Ever since reading Memoirs of a Geisha, I've been looking for a book that will let me relive that excitement. So I was hoping that Snow Flower and the Secret Fan would fit the bill for my craving for Asian drama :)

I would have to say that this book did not. I found it difficult to get invested in the characters who seemed somewhat flat to me. The narrator wasn't engaging enough to make me feel a connection to her. Really, the strength of the book in my opinion was the detail it spent in developing an understanding of the cultural issues surrounding Chinese women and the custom of footbinding. Which, of course, is horrible mutilation to a woman living in the 21st century Western world, but was the very epitome of beauty and sexual turn-on for 19th century Chinese. So I would say it gets an A+ for effectively fleshing out that cultural way of life, but probably just a "B-" for characters. I wanted to care more about them than I did, but when the book was over, I was more interested in Googling pictures of bound feet than mourning the loss of their friendship and the misunderstandings that undid the two main characters.
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Betsy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:55AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Betsy Have you read "Women of the Silk"? It is another look at Asian culture from the point of view of young women.

Shelly I was also going to ask if you had read "Women of the Silk", but I see the previous commenter beat me to it and waaaaaay sooner ;) *blushes* This is what happens when you've just joined the site.

Crystal Naomi  Crosby I would recommend "Wild Swans" maybe?

Susan Have you read Pearl Buck's novels. They are classic, especially The Good Earth. She wrote a number of novels like Snow Flower.

message 5: by Genni (new)

Genni Gunn Have you tried Ha Jin's Waiting?

Francine Cardinale Shannom I really enjoyed this - but not as great as Memoirs. I have Lisa See's "Shanghai Girls" on my nightstand and have heard it was a good read. Maybe try that?

message 7: by Jean (new) - added it

Jean I would reccommend 'Mayo's last Dancer' and 'Wild Swans' ...wonderful books!

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