Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
This is a historical fiction book set back in nineteenth century China. Our story follows the life of Lily. Her feet get bound, she gets married and has children, but the most important thing that happens to her is that she is chosen to have a laotong, a same, another girl who will be her best friend throughout her entire life. It is this friendship we follow as they write to each other using the secret nu shu language that only women write.
This is not necessarily a gripping book but it is a beautiful and interesting book. It does a very good job of explaining the customs and reasons why things happen the way they do. A lot of what this book does is just explain every day life for Lily. Yes, big events happen but mostly it is about what her life is like and how she and Snow Flower continue to communicate (or not).
I’m not really sure what else to say about this book. It is very peaceful despite the terrible things that happen and I definitely felt like I was surrounded by a different culture without feeling confused or overwhelmed by it.
I enjoyed this book and I would recommend it. Yes, it is technically an adult book and some of the situations are not something I would want children to read about but this is not necessarily an adult book more of just a mature book. I did really enjoy learning about nu shu and all the ways women were able to try and reach out of the boxes they were put in and ultimately the power they sometimes did have despite what the men around them might have wanted.
If you want to read a book about women, friendship, and China then I would say give this book a try.
Also apparently they made this into a movie which actually seems very different from the book.
#58 of 2017