Kathryn's Reviews > Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
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's review
Apr 27, 2007

really liked it
Recommended for: Women
Read in April, 2007

Being thousands of miles away from my closest female friends, I sometimes forget just how much I love them, and what it's like to share an intensely close friendship with another woman. "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" resurfaced those feelings for me, and reminded me of the complexity of human relationships.

At the beginning of the novel, I found myself immediately immersed in Lily's world. I didn't want to put the book down. I thought the author did a wonderful job weaving in descriptions of the setting/characters with the plot, without breaking the flow of reading just to create a picture of 19th century China. (Perhaps I had an advantage over other readers, having been to Hunan before, but I'm not sure.)

Around the middle of the book, I found myself wishing that the author hadn't accelerated the plot so much and had instead taken some extra pages to elaborate on the events that occurred. I suppose I enjoyed the book so much, that I wanted to be able to delve into the characters' lives just that much more.

Before I knew it, I had reached the last 50 pages of the book. Given the brevity of the novel, I have to say that I was surprised at how believable the intensely emotional closing was.

I loved "Memoirs of a Geisha" for its aesthetic beauty, but the "laotong" relationship between Lily and Snow Flower captured the beauty and pain of female friendships in a very powerful way.
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