Snow Flower and the Secret Fan – Lisa See

Title: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Author: Lisa See
ISBN: 9780812980356
Pages: 288
Release Date: June 27, 2005
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Genre: Historical Fiction, Multicultural Fiction 
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary:

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is the story of Lily and her laotong, Snow Flower.  A laotong is a type of adopted sister.  While a woman will leave her childhood home for marriage, the relationship with a laotong is lifelong.  This is the story of two very different women and how their relationship changes as they are faced with the rigors of every day life in 19th century China.

Review:

I’ve read two of Lisa See’s books, Peony in Love and Shanghai Girls, and enjoyed them both.  However, I’ve heard time and again that Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is See’s real masterpiece, and that it’s simply not to be missed.  After reading it, I can see why people have said that.

I was really amazed by Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.  Lisa See does a wonderful job making the reader feel like they are in 19th century China.  There are so many historical details; the intricacies of the story are just incredible.  I can’t imagine how much time See must have put into researching this novel.  It was just so vivid; I was completely immersed in Chinese history and culture while reading this novel.  It was so realistic and descriptive that I was sick to my stomach when she described the foot binding practice in detail.

At the core of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is the friendship between Lily and Snow Flower.  They’re both wonderful women; it’s clear that Lisa See is really passionate about her characters, writing them as vibrantly as possible.  They’re also very different from one another, which adds to the scope of the novel.

This is one of those books where it’s hard to put into words why it’s so good – all I can say is that it’s an incredibly vivid and well-written novel.  Lisa See is a talented author that really brings 19th century China to life, and you should definitely pick up Snow Flower and the Secret Fan if you haven’t already.

Comments

  1. I agree that this is not to be missed. The foot-binding rituals were almost too vivid, but Lee did an amazing job with this novel.

  2. I agree that this is not to be missed. The foot-binding rituals were almost too vivid, but Lee did an amazing job with this novel.

  3. I’ve got to make the time to sit down and read this one. It sounds fabulous!

  4. I’ve got to make the time to sit down and read this one. It sounds fabulous!

  5. I’ve just received Shanghai Girls for Christmas so am only a few pages in, but I am excited to read a Lisa See book since I haven’t yet. If I like it, I’ll add this one to my TBR

  6. I’ve just received Shanghai Girls for Christmas so am only a few pages in, but I am excited to read a Lisa See book since I haven’t yet. If I like it, I’ll add this one to my TBR

  7. I, too, enjoyed this book very much. Though it was difficult to read the details of foot binding, and I cringed a lot at the mere thought of it, I’m glad I didn’t skim those pages.

    Lovely review, Swapna

  8. I, too, enjoyed this book very much. Though it was difficult to read the details of foot binding, and I cringed a lot at the mere thought of it, I’m glad I didn’t skim those pages.

    Lovely review, Swapna

  9. Great review. This is one of my all time favorite reads. It is so good.

  10. Great review. This is one of my all time favorite reads. It is so good.

  11. This is one of my all-time favorite books–and what made me fall in love with Lisa See’s writing. I am glad you enjoyed this one!

  12. This is one of my all-time favorite books–and what made me fall in love with Lisa See’s writing. I am glad you enjoyed this one!

  13. I’ll be reading Shanghai Girls for a blog tour soon, and I’ve heard so many good things about her other books, that I’m sure I’ll want to read them, too. Thanks for the review!

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

  14. I’ll be reading Shanghai Girls for a blog tour soon, and I’ve heard so many good things about her other books, that I’m sure I’ll want to read them, too. Thanks for the review!

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

  15. This is one of my favorite books of all time. I’m glad you liked it!

    I hope you are enjoying your holidays!

  16. This is one of my favorite books of all time. I’m glad you liked it!

    I hope you are enjoying your holidays!

  17. I read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan earlier this year, after having had it on my to-read list for some time. I found it well-written and thought-provoking, if not exactly a “happy” read.

  18. I read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan earlier this year, after having had it on my to-read list for some time. I found it well-written and thought-provoking, if not exactly a “happy” read.

  19. I enjoyed this book a lot too, and it was easy to get lost in the story. How vivid she made such a secluded world feel.

    Julie Q
    http://readlikeme.blogspot.com/

  20. I enjoyed this book a lot too, and it was easy to get lost in the story. How vivid she made such a secluded world feel.

    Julie Q
    http://readlikeme.blogspot.com/

  21. Oh, I to loved this book. Our book club read it and had a great discussion about it. Especially as moms we had a very interesting discussion about whether as a mom at that time and place if we would also force our dtrs to bind their feet. Just a fabulous story and I have recommended this many many times.

  22. Oh, I to loved this book. Our book club read it and had a great discussion about it. Especially as moms we had a very interesting discussion about whether as a mom at that time and place if we would also force our dtrs to bind their feet. Just a fabulous story and I have recommended this many many times.

  23. I read Snow Flower first and then read Peony in Love and I think I liked Peony in Love better. But they’re both so wonderful. I have yet to read Shanghai Girls.

  24. I read Snow Flower first and then read Peony in Love and I think I liked Peony in Love better. But they’re both so wonderful. I have yet to read Shanghai Girls.

  25. I love SNOWFLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN! What an amazing story.

    I haven’t read PEONY, but will be reviewing SHANGHAI GIRLS for a blog tour soon; I’m looking forward to reading more of Lisa See.

  26. I love SNOWFLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN! What an amazing story.

    I haven’t read PEONY, but will be reviewing SHANGHAI GIRLS for a blog tour soon; I’m looking forward to reading more of Lisa See.

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