Shireen McQuade's Reviews > Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
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Apr 26, 09

Read in January, 2007

An excellent book that held my interst till the last page. I walked into 1800 China when reading this book and what a revelation! It is the story of two childhood friends who face the harshness of that century together, the feet binding, the seclusion, the segregation of the sexes, the lack of economic opportunities for women. I found it fascinating that the author chose to use the voice of a traditional woman; she was clever to do so because to be rebellious in such an inflexible society could mean death. In such a patriarchial society, those who could not work within the traditional methods because they had AWFUL fathers or husbands, were at the mercy of fate or if they had pluck and brains, they had to be cunning. This book cleverly illustrates that things are not what they seem, that women, in order to survive such a restrictive and soul-crushing society, had to be duplicitous to create a better life for themselves, and that duplicity may in fact be a laudable attribute when circumstances so warrant. And sometimes the rewards for such cunning and pluck is not visited on that person but another generation of her kin. I could not put this book down till I read it to the last page.
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