Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a wonderful novel about Chinese culture in the 19th century. At the time women were not given equal opportunities. They were expected to spend their lives striving for ideal beauty and being devoted mothers and wives. But two girls learned the secret art of nu shu ('women's writing'). It was a language only women could read. These two girls were paired as 'old sames' with a friendship expected to last a lifetime. "They painted letters on fans, embroidered messages on handkerchiefs, and composed stories, thereby reaching out of their windows to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments."
I thought this book was fascinating especially as See vividly describes the footbinding process. See has done a lot of research to write her novels so the historical facts are accurate. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan chronicles the life of a Chinese girl as she transitions to womanhood and marries. It is incredible what these women would do to prepare for their weddings. They had incredible endurance, pain tolerance, strength, and personal control. This is a must read for anyone who is interested in Chinese culture and history. It is a light and quick read but See gets to the depth of female pain, envy, happiness, and many other emotions.
This book is being added to the Top 10 page. I give this book a Thumbs Up!
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