Snowflower and the Secret Fan and Shanghai Girls are two beautiful books about the Chinese culture. I loved both of them so much and found the women’s lives and experiences fascinating, heartbreaking and inspiring. Both were books that kept me up at night and researching after I was finished. Snowflower and the Secret Fan delves into the lives of women in 19th century China and Shaghai Girls is about more modern Chinese women in the 1930s who become American immigrants. It was incredible to read about their struggles and triumphs. Both books are pretty clean reading, though some horrid things happen in both novels. The ending of Shanghai Girls is horrible, I am just being honest, but there is a sequel Dreams of Joy that ties things up for you…as a personal opinion, I was not nearly as excited about Dreams of Joy, though others have really enjoyed it.
Read anything great lately?
Amazon.com summary of Snowflower and the Secret Fan: In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, an “old same,” in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she’s written a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men. As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on the fan and compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Together they endure the agony of footbinding and reflect upon their arranged marriages, their loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace in their friendship, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their relationship suddenly threatens to tear apart.