Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Downloadable Audiobook - 2005
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Lily is haunted by memories--of who she once was, and of a person, long gone, who defined her existence. She has nothing but time now, as she recounts the tale of Snow Flower, and asks the gods for forgiveness. In nineteenth-century China, when wives and daughters were foot-bound and lived in almost total seclusion, the women in one remote Hunan county developed their own secret code for communication: nu shu ("women's writing"). They painted letters on fans, embroidered messages on handkerchiefs, and composed stories, thereby reaching out of their isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. With the arrival of a silk fan on which Snow Flower has composed for Lily a poem of introduction in nu shu, their friendship is sealed and they become "old sames" at the tender age of seven. As the years pass, through famine and rebellion, they reflect upon their arranged marriages, 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 lifelong friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart.
Publisher: [Santa Ana, Calif.] : Books on Tape, 2005
ISBN: 9780739350089
Additional Contributors: Song, Janet


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Apr 12, 2019

This was such a wonderful way to learn about historical Chinese culture. In the vein of "Wild Swans" by Jung Chang, this book describes what it is like to be female in 19th century China, when foot binding still abounded. It explores all types of human relationships, including familial relationships, friendships, and marriage. I found this book fascinating from beginning to end.

Jun 01, 2013

I just finished this book, and I have to say I really love the author's style of writing. This story almost made me cry at some points. It makes me feel the love between two close friends and illustrates the hardship of womanhood and social roles very well. A definite recommend.

Nov 28, 2012

A historical fiction about Lily and her life in 1800s in China as she reflects back in her life experiences. Main ideas of footbinding, nu shu (secret women's language) and hierarchy within the family unit. It written with much heart and angst with reflection and remorse. Enjoyed the story.


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Jun 01, 2013

akleung thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over


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