Jun 14, 07
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.