Friday, August 5, 2011

another good book

A story set in 19th century China that tests the readers emotional stamina with graphic descriptions of foot binding and the hardships endured by the two main characters (Snow Flower and Lily) during the Taiping rebellion.

Following the everyday lives of these women from age 7 into womanhood as they learn "nu-shu" (the secret writing of Chinese women) share their secret dreams, and confront the day to day challenges of being wife, mother, daughter-in-law in a culture where women are prized not for their intellect or talents but for the size of their feet.

This detailed examination of the suffering which Lily and Snow Flower experience in their laotong relationship(laotong = a liaison made by choice for the purpose of emotional companionship and eternal fidelity)is a major focus of the book.

Moving and sorrowful in it's exploration of female friendship Lisa See's story makes the reader question how much of a person's life is guided by tradition, by fate and the expectations of others and how much by freewill and choice.

* Picture and description from amazon.

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