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Enthralling account of Chinese women during the 1800's

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Trish Borders This incredible account of the life of a Chinese woman, Lily, of the 1800's was written with amazingly threaded details of Chinese family life. The book follows the lives of varying classes of women; the book swept me into their world and evoked in me a true interest to keep reading and reading. Chronicling 80 years of this woman's life, the author richly connected the traditions and politics of the times to an intriguing plot. Clearly, Lisa Lee thoroughly researched the topics, and created a novel that serves as a tribute to the often brave and horribly treated Chinese women of those times.

message 2: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim I felt all of the emotions, especially the heartbreak in this one - loved it.

Darlene Loved it!

Vickie Very interesting book. I enjoyed the characters and learning more about Chinese culture.

Licha Fantastic book not just about the culture but about friendship between women. Also graphic explanation of foot binding, but I think I finally understood (with horror) what these women would go through and how the process of foot binding works.

Monica one of my favorite books! Couldn't put it down!

Kathy I loved this book. I learned so much from it I, plus it was emotionally very moving. I also hadn't had any real clue about foot-binding. Now when I see Chinese restaurants named the Golden Lily--and that seems a fairly common name--I can't help wondering about it. I find myself picking the book up to re-read a few pages and the few pages turn into pages and pages.

ChrisGA Disfunctional families-Chinese style--This is my third Lisa See book. As usual it depicts the time and cultural traditions of China in a readable manner filled with characters filled with strengths and flaws. The whole laotong-relationship was new to me, and I found it both enlightened in its acknowledgement of the need women have for a friend to share their lives and confidences with especially in such a male-dominating culture--and disturbing in the way it was almost a competing marriage complete with physical intimacy. The whole foot-binding trauma, the premarital rituals, and the women's writing were vividly described.

Roxana bogacz Creo que es mi libro preferido, me enteré de costumbres y tradiciones muy distintas a las mías, tambien encierra un verdadero homenaje a la amistad aunque no simétrico entre las dos chicas, en fin me dejo una ENORME enseñanza, aunque ame mucho a una persona y crea conocerla a fondo, no puedo dar consejos desde mi realidad ya que la del otro me es casi totalmente ajena

Roxana bogacz Este libro ademas de enseñarme costumbres y una cultura totalmente distintas a la mía y de ser un homenaje a la amistada en este caso entre dos mujeres, ademas de todo esto que bien detallaron antes otras lectoras, me dejo una enseñanaza personal, aun amando mucho a alguien y creyendo conocerlo a fondo siempre debo respetar la intimidad del otro, los consejos dados desde mi lugar pueden no ser adecuados para el otro

Angel I agree that this is an excellent book both for its compelling descriptions of Chinese culture and for its portrayal of the deep friendship. The desire for a true life long friendship is a common one especially among women who tend to feel very deeply.

message 12: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Our women's group read the book and then we watched the movie. The traditions were not fully portrayed in the movie, so you did miss that much, but still a great movie.

Lynnski This was my first Lisa See book I had ever read and absolutely LOVED it. I have since read Peony in Love, Shanghi Girls, and Dreams of Joy and loved all of those as well. I was a little disapointed in the movie but that's almost always the case when I enjoyed the book so much.

message 14: by Iris (new) - rated it 5 stars

Iris Anthony I loved this book. I was completely outraged after having read it. For weeks!

message 15: by Ann (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ann This was a book i just could not put daughter had given it to me and it stayed on my shelf forever.I really loved it! it moved me a great deal!I agree with all the posts i have read. don't judge a book by its cover so to speak.I would have never read this on my own, but happy i picked it up

message 16: by Rg (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rg A book of friendship, I should have give it to my best friend..

message 17: by Dawn (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dawn This is one of my favorite books! I stumbled on it by accident while on vacation -- just looking for something to read. What a great surprise I got! I have always enjoyed Amy Tan's books and been very interested in Chinese culture and history, and I was so excited to "discover" Lisa See! The movie, although I liked it, I think would be very difficult to get much out of if you haven't read the book first. You'd miss so much of the underlying emotions that are such a huge part of this story.

Carol A great read....very emotional.

message 19: by Teressa (last edited Jan 28, 2013 09:57AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Teressa gertt wrote: "Snow Flower is one of my favorite books. I loved the friendship and the culture. I was truly amazed at the footbinding, I never realized how disabling it was and simply to please a man. Wonderful..."

I agree that footbinding is/was horrible. But let's be honest with ourselves. It may have begun "simply to please a man," but it continued for such a long time because the women adapted this image of beauty for their own. I see the same thing with pointy, high-heeled shoes. Many of my (women) friends and relatives go wild over the most horrendous high heels declaring them to be beautiful.

Oh, and by the way, this is a great book.

message 20: by Tess (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tess This book is one of my all time favorites. I actually came across it by accident. My flight had been delayed due to weather and I finished the book I had brought for the flight and found this one the only one vaguely interesting in the shop by my terminal. I was a bit too young at the time to fully appreciate it as I should have, but subsequent readings allowed me to fully appreciate it as the years have gone on. There are very few books which can bring up the sheer amount of emotion that this one does for me.

Julianna This is an amazing book. And I for one, especially appreciate the fact that the main female character didn't rebel against all "oppressive social norms", as they do in a lot of books set historically.

Shmendrick Julianna wrote: "This is an amazing book. And I for one, especially appreciate the fact that the main female character didn't rebel against all "oppressive social norms", as they do in a lot of books set historically."

You have put your finger on one of the many reasons I loved this book. Even though Lily was sometimes aware that following tradition would hurt someone shit still did it because it was expected of her and that was the only way she knew to be. Even Snow Flower followed some of the traditions. Basically it was good to read about characters who were a product of their time and culture and not just transported into the setting from ours.

Shmendrick *she still did it.

Barbara I loved the book from the moment I picked it up but it did bring home the cruelty of foot binding. I never liked history at school but I have found that I have learnt more from historical fiction.

message 25: by Rg (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rg I always love Chinese historical fiction / cultural books. Amy Tan is one of the best Chinese author also.

message 26: by Jan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jan Stones Fascinating. The images of foot binding will stay with me forever, though there is so much more here.

message 27: by Maria (new)

Maria I liked this book however I don't see myself reading this book again any time soon. It was written with great detail and empathy. There was so much satire in this time for women I wanted to stop reading it sometimes. At first I thought "how could they let these things (footbing, the beatings and cruel words of their mothers) happen but when one really thinks about it you have to put yourself in their place and accept that these were the only choices they had. It was a taboo for women to remain in good social standing without a husband. It was fascinating to learn more about the time of this culture. Lily and Snow Flower are women I always remember but I wanted to smack Lily for hurting Snow Flower so much near the end. And Snow Flower being so kind and rewarded with harsh beating and words(it hurt)but I hated how she lied to her friend. Just as you were once high and mighty and talked about it to lily. when lily became of better standing it felt like she couldn't handle it and was hurt because lily couldn't comfort her but even in better standing lily and snow flower were both stupid and jealous of each other. I have a deep respect for what they endured but it was a bit too sad for me (even if it was once a reality)

message 28: by Kay (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kay Bratt Lisa See is a master at bringing the old days back to life and grabbing you with the first pages. I'll probably re-read this book every year, maybe forever. That's how much I like it.

message 29: by Penny (last edited May 11, 2013 01:28PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Penny I loved this book, the insight into a totally alien way of living, was eye opening to say the least.

I also really enjoyed Wild Swan,Three daughters of China by Jung Chang.

Satthiya Kandi I adore this book, Lisa See is a brilliant writer!

Harriet Puterman I loved this book. I went on to read all of her books. These comments are giving me the urge to reread it. I'm a China buff. Curr3ently reading Ha Jin's "A Free Life"

Dianna Rostad Trish wrote: "This incredible account of the life of a Chinese woman, Lily, of the 1800's was written with amazingly threaded details of Chinese family life. The book follows the lives of varying classes of wome..."

I agree this novel just "swept me" away. It's my favorite of all time. It was that good.

Mandy Stewart I loved this book.It was a great example of how important friendship really is.I really hated the footbinding part b/c of the unnecessary pain that those girls went through.I understand it was part of their culture but I hate that they had to endure such torture.

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