Heidi Thompson's Reviews > Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
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's review
Mar 24, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: book-club

I love a novel that teaches me about something I was completely ignorant of, and this one certainly did that. The story is a tale about Lily, a young girl in 19th century China, and her relationship with her Lao Tung ("Old Same", or friend for life), Snowflower. We follow the two through their childhood into adulthood, all the while learning about the culture and its incomprehensible impact on the female gender. From the horrific tradition of footbinding (described in disturbing detail), to the matchmaking with a complete stranger, to the strains of being a woman in a household with no regard for your status... the story is heart wrenching and tragic at times, but a poignant tribute to how friendship, love, and relationships sustain you through even the most difficult of circumstances. The tale itself also teaches that being patient and trusting of those you love and care for is the lesson we need to keep close to our hearts.
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