Moses Kilolo's Reviews > Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
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Dec 19, 2011

it was amazing

Brilliant. A spectacular book.

I haven’t read anything this deeply affecting for quite a while {at least on the level of love and relationships}. I was hooked from the beginning. And the grace and depth of Lisa See’s storytelling had me contemplating about life and the deeds and the choices we make concerning our own lives, those that are made on our behalf and how all these affects those who we most cherish. Fate. Is it something nature, or us, or others, or some higher power design for us? Is it really predestined, as these girls were made to believe?

Ever since that first message that Snow Flower send little Lily, when they were just children, the stage was set for what was meant to be a lifetime of friendship. As events unfold, as life happens, an absolutely heartbreaking and unforgettable story is woven. It also reminded me of Adichie’s the danger of a single story – given that I recently read The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck, where I was first introduced to the Chinese practice of foot binding. From what I’ve gathered from this book, it loosely equates to Female Genital Mutilation, which until recently has been widely practiced here in Africa. And what a cruel thing it is – girls so young stand the risk of actually dying in the process, like happened to Lily’s sister. Lisa, however, goes beyond this, which she has offered in an heartfelt detail, to other aspects of the Chinese culture – especially those that of concern to women.

Quite fascinating is the issue of nu shu, one of the central themes, which is described as the women’s secret writing. Under all that isolation and oppression that these women suffered, it is a wonderful thing that they invented a secret code/language/writting in which they could communicate in secret, offer and share comfort.

Lisa See’s narrative is beautiful, and from the writing itself you may discern a depth that arises not only from research and writing talent, but from the heart of a writer who knows the matters of the heart. From her’s to all others that will come across this wonderfully crafted, deeply felt work of fiction.

It is an amazing lesson on friendship too, and of course – that deep heart love.

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Reading Progress

December 19, 2011 – Started Reading
December 19, 2011 – Shelved
December 21, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Linda Great review!


Moses Kilolo Linda wrote: "Great review!"

Thanks Linda, was a beautiful book to read, a lot later I still remember the characters well.


Linda Moses wrote: "Linda wrote: "Great review!"

Thanks Linda, was a beautiful book to read, a lot later I still remember the characters well."


My book club will be discussing the book this week. I plan to share your review--you described the essence of the story so well.


Moses Kilolo Linda wrote: "Moses wrote: "Linda wrote: "Great review!"

Thanks Linda, was a beautiful book to read, a lot later I still remember the characters well."

My book club will be discussing the book this week. I pl..."


That's very kind. And encouraging. Do let me know how it goes, and all the best for your book club.


Petra X I absolutely loathed this book and wrote a review that reflected that. It attracted quite a few (mostly deleted) trolls. I can't stand people who get all emotional about a book and if you don't agree with them feel the need to get nasty. No, I like reading reviews by people who felt differently about a book than I did, it makes for interesting reading. Also, it may illuminate points about the book I hadn't considered. As your's does.


Moses Kilolo Petra X wrote: "I absolutely loathed this book and wrote a review that reflected that. It attracted quite a few (mostly deleted) trolls. I can't stand people who get all emotional about a book and if you don't agr..."

hello Petra, I guess one is justified to have their own feelings towards any book they come across. As different as we are as readers, our reaction to text and story vary.

And I guess sometimes it may be the content, the story, the writing, the author, (or even other people's opinions) that we love or loath. Sometimes we may hate a book today, read it again after a while, and then, goodness, new insights come. I believe the opposite is also true. and the timing also matters.

For me I guess this resonated because I loath the practice of FGM (something you are likely to find - at diminishing numbers -here in Africa). That this book showed something similar practiced elsewhere, that did get me to care.. but then, its just me..

so thank you for reading my review with an open mind.


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