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characters Snow Flower and the Secret Fan ↠ eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB á In nineteenth century China in a remote Hunan county a girl named Lily at the tender age of seven is paired with a laotong “old same” in an emotional match that will last a lifetime The laotong Snow Flower introduces herself by sendingY endure the agony of foot binding and reflect upon their arranged marriages shared loneliness and the joys and tragedies of motherhood The two find solace developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive But when a misunderstanding arises their deep friendship suddenly threatens to tear apar. I tried to read it It was so non compelling who were these little mice of women what were they up to why should I care MAKE ME CARE The plot didn't the characters didn't and so I couldn't get past about page 50 My mind kept drifting off and by the time I was conscious of reading again I wouldn't know what had happened so I had to reread it again and again up unto the fourth rereading of the same pages Exactly the same experience I had with Rushdie's Satanic Verses So I gave up I thought it was probably me and not the book so I downloaded the film Lord was it bad or what Exactly the same experience it wasn't any interesting It's an experience I'm not going to have with the Satanic Verses though I doubt there's a director still alive brave enough to make a film of that book

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Shu a uniue language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret away from the influence of menAs the years pass Lily and Snow Flower send messages on fans compose stories on handkerchiefs reaching out of isolation to share their hopes dreams and accomplishments Together the. For my entire life I longed for love I knew it was not right for me – as a girl and later as a woman – to want or expect it but I did and this unjustified desire has been at the root of every problem I have experienced in my lifeWhat a sad yet beautiful book this was I adore historical fiction that can really immerse me in another time and place and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan did just that Transported back to 19th century China I believe I arrived at a better understanding of a woman's position in this society I learned what it was like to be a daughter a sister a wife and a daughter in law I am admittedly grateful for not ever having to experience these often overwhelmingly harsh relationships in the way that these women did Not for an instant can I imagine having to yearn for my mother's love with the feeling that it was something impossible to attain And I most certainly could not fathom bending to my mother in law's every command and needing to act as a lowly visitor in her home even as the wife of her own son The cultural practice of footbinding was truly horrific and cringeworthy If you like me decide to google any images please consider yourself forewarned that it really does look as awful and disfiguring as you would no doubt imagine Yet a young girl's future and her marriageability depended heavily on the result of this archaic practice The one relationship that I found endearing and one that transcends both time and culture is that of a true friendship This is so beautifully demonstrated in the bond between the narrator Lily and Snow Flower her old same Lisa See really brings to life the nuances of their lifelong friendship which began as little girls with a contract sealing their fates in a laotong relationship A laotong match is as significant as a good marriage A laotong relationship is made by choice for the purpose of emotional companionship and eternal fidelity A marriage is not made by choice and has only one purpose – to have sons We see the girls grow up together and experience the joys of childhood friendship – laughing dreaming and mourning together The women's secret form of writing or nu shu begins with the communication between the little girls on the folds of a special fan that will provide a chronicle of their extraordinary relationship throughout their lives As married women they experience both the happiness and the sorrow of giving birth and living under the heavy thumbs of their husbands and mothers in law in households that scorn rather than cherish them And as with some friendships these women experience the differences in social standings within a community and suffer from misunderstandings and ultimate betrayal Can a friendship really withstand anything This is a wonderful book for anyone interested in the culture of China during this period and those that enjoy reading about the various connections between women If you've ever had a true friend this book will truly speak to you and perhaps make you just a tad nostalgic about the carefree days when you could hope and giggle with your own bestie 

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Snow Flower and the Secret FanIn nineteenth century China in a remote Hunan county a girl named Lily at the tender age of seven is paired with a laotong “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 painted a poem in nu. My grandmother used to say that my big feet meant I had a “good foundation” I’d stare longingly at her size six feet when she said this and curse my genetic inheritance from elsewhere in the family tree Then I had an ex boyfriend make the infuriating statement that rich women have small feet I pointed out that his celebrity crush Paris Hilton yeah another reason I dumped him has huge size eleven feet My teenage self took a lot of comfort in the fact that foot size is pre ordained and unchangeable Clown sized feet can strike the smart the rich the beautiful And there isn’t a damned thing they or I could do about itThen I read this book and learn it is possible to change your foot size It’s called foot binding And you know what I’ll pass I enjoy being able to wiggle my toes and jump around So thank you Lisa See For once in my life I am content with my big feet And I owe it all to your graphic descriptions of this ancient Chinese method Blood putrefaction pain breaking bones risk of death I cannot believe those women were subjected to such brutal mutilation for the sake of beauty Then they were still expected to clean the house perched on those tiny unstable feetThe foot binding portion of the book was the highlight for me The inspiration for the book was nu shu a written language developed by Chinese women and kept secret from men for hundreds of years Yawn I didn’t find that part of the story very compelling or even believable Didn’t men wonder why the ladies kept ink and brushes in their room Beyond the foot biding event and nu shu device this was really a story about a female friendship that was deep and even erotic at times Putting aside any problems with the plot their emotions toward each other were complex and meaningful There was hope and joy but mostly there was pain During an event with Lisa last night she spoke of how depressing writing can be She doesn’t always wake up raring to write Instead she may dread knowing she has to go to a dark internal place to write about a character’s death or betrayal Even worse she may have to stay in that mindset for days or weeks until that section is completely written I spend so much time glamorizing a writer’s lifestyle that I had not fully considered how emotionally draining it could be I suspected the career engenders self doubt “Will people like what I’ve written” Yet I had never thought about the struggle Lisa described to create and inhabit the internal emotional environment necessary to produce the actual wordsI commend Lisa for giving us a realistic look at the treatment of and expectations for women in that day and age Women were isolated and undervalued Their worth was determined solely by whether they could produce sons But honestly my main complaint about the book is how depressing it was I kept waiting for some great act of heroism Yet the women stuck to their traditional roles The main character not only repeated the indoctrination she believed it “My role in life is to obey obey obey” Sure they rebelled in small ways but always within the confines of their societal roles I kept routing for one character to leave an abusive husband or at very least stand up to her oppressive mother in law Normally I criticize authors for deviating from historical facts in order to cater to a modern readership This time I think Lisa stayed so true to the setting that she turned me off And her heavy handed foreshadowing didn’t help Life was hard for women back then I get it But does that make for an enjoyable read Not really And I think that was my problem I had the wrong expectations as I entered this book It wasn't a sprawling historical epic filled with exciting action heart fluttering romance and distant voyages like Shogun one of the few other historical fictions I have read that are set in Asia It was a largely uiet book about uiet life Lisa herself admitted she writes sad books And when she started this book no one thought it would be successful China Women Gloom No one will read that Well she proved them wrong Lots of people read it Heck I read it Even people will probably see the movieAnd it’s worth reading It made me appreciate the freedom women enjoy today as well as the potential depth of female friendship Not to mention I’m looking down at my feet right now and thinking “hell yeah that’s one beautiful ergonomic piece of evolution – and just the right size