Erin's Reviews > Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
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's review
Jun 30, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, historical-fiction
Recommended for: Mindi, Corinne, Marika
Read in July, 2008

A gem of a book, an incredible tale of friendship and what it means to be a woman. This is the story of Lily, who at eighty years and known as "one who has not yet died", sets out to tell about her life, and most importantly, her connection with her friend Snow Flower. At the age of seven she and Snow Flower are paired in an emotional match that will last a lifetime, called a laotong, or "old same." They learn to communicate through a secret language created by Chinese women called nu shu, sharing the joys and sorrows of life in remote 19th century China.
This book took me completely out of my own world and into Lily's, which is so different from anything I have known. I enjoyed reading about the many rituals and traditions practiced in China at that time - some of them beautiful and some barbaric. The author's attention to research and detail is evident in every page, I learned so much about China reading this work of fiction! I felt a strong connection to the characters in the book and thought of my own friendships; "old sames", and "sworn sisterhoods."
I have just finished reading it but know I will be reflecting on it for awhile. This is a story that stays with you. It reminded me of a favorite quote of mine:
"I am a part of all I have read." - John Kieran
And with this book, I am grateful.
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02/25/2016 marked as: read

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