Abigail's Reviews > Peony in Love

Peony in Love by Lisa See
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's review
Dec 10, 2008

did not like it
Read in December, 2008

** spoiler alert ** I hated this book. I couldn't wait to read this book because I loved the first one so much. I started reading the book and it was just as good. The story is about a young girl who is betrothed to be married in a few months. Her birthday comes around and her dad has her favorite opera performed for her. The opera takes 3 nights. A bunch of people are invited to attend. In the past chinese culture the women can't see the men and the men can't see the women. So the women are placed in a screened area and the men cannot see them at all. While they are watching the opera Peony peeks throught the a crack in the screen and sees a very handsome young man. On the first night, Peony, leaves the opera in the middle just to contemplate life. She goes to a garden pavilion and while she is standing there a the same young man she saw walks into the pavilion. The two are not supposed to be alone with one another. They talk for a minute and they leave. They agree to meet there the next night. Peony has fallen in love. She meets him there the next night and he says he loves her. They barely touch and then they decide to meet the next night at a pavilion near the lake where nobody will find them. The next night she goes out there and he wants to show her his house. They wade into the lake a little bit and he lives points out this house. He proclaims his love for her and says that was the best 3 days and he will never forget them. They go back and her mom finds out that she did something wrong because her dress is muddy. As they are getting ready to leave, her dad in the other room with the guys, points out her future husband. She doesn't look because she is too in love with the other guy. Her mom takes her upstairs to her room and locks her in. Soon Peony gets sick because she is lovesick and can't eat. She starts to write all these poems and such. Her mom is upset with her and trys to teach her for her wedding but she still won't let her out. As her wedding date nears, she gets sicker and sicker. She just wants to be with the man she really loves. Her dad comes home to see her off to her wedding and he gives her something her future husband gave him at the opera. It is a dryed flower. The same dryed flower Peony gave the man she loves. All of the sudden she realizes the man she loves is her husband. She is so happy. She begins to eat, but it is too late. Her mom and aunts prepare her for what she thought was her wedding, but in actuality they are preparing for her death. On her wedding day, they stick her out in the cold, winter weather and let her die. That was the custom. Right then, I couldn't read anymore. I cried for 10 minutes. I can hardly even write this review. I was so upset. I can't explain why. I hate her parents for killing her. She was so happy and then they killed her. She was going to have everything she wanted and then they killed her. They just set her and all her stuff out in the cold and let her die. They don't even care. They burned all her books and writings because it wasn't ladylike. They punished her for having a little bit of fun on her birthday. She was a prisoner and eventually died like that too. I hated this book.
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Kelly If you didn't finish it, then no wonder you didn't like it. If you only read to the part where she dies, you COMPLETELY MISSED THE WHOLE POINT of the book. Trust me, finish it and you will be VERY PLEASED. It is wonderful, but you have to stick with it.

Deidre I agree, if you stop there it will just be heart wrenching. I promise you that there is some redemption for Peony and the people that treated her poorly.

message 3: by Leslie (last edited Mar 23, 2009 08:21PM) (new)

Leslie My views are same as the other two. You find out later that she was beyond saving. Although, the other half of the book wasn't nearly as good (after she died, that is).

Spider the Doof Warrior AUGH! I just started this book, but I was frustrated because I was afraid it would get sad.

Jennifer Awe, so sad you didn't finish the book because there is so much more to it. They didn't kill her. She was going to die anyway. It was too late for her. And they did care. She meets her mom again later on. It is a beautiful story, you just gave up too soon.

Spider the Doof Warrior But... you gave it all away >.

Carre Saunders Her parents didn't kill her by locking her away, she killed herself by refusing to eat. And yes, you totally missed out on the rest if the book and her maturation from a lovesick maiden to a woman who comes to understand truly what love is. She also comes to understand that there are backstories to other people in her life that she never bothered to learn and understand, essentially because she was a spoiled, selfish, stubborn little girl. Those backstories influenced their behavior in ways she never understood until long after her death.

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