Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel

Written by:
Lisa See
Narrated by:
Janet Song

Unabridged Audiobook

Ratings
Book
32
Narrator
9
Release Date
June 2005
Duration
11 hours 13 minutes
Summary
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a brilliantly realistic journey back to an era of Chinese history that is as deeply moving as it is sorrowful. With the period detail and deep resonance of Memoirs of a Geisha, this lyrical and emotionally charged novel delves into one of the most mysterious of human relationships: female friendship. 

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”). Some girls were paired with laotongs, “old sames,” in emotional matches that lasted throughout their lives. 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.
Reviews
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Jamie Z.

Phenomenal 'read / listen.' I love historical fiction, and learned so much about life in China in the 1800's, and all that women endured within the strict social structure, beginning with footbinding. It's a beautiful, painful, heart & soul searing story, so well written and narrated. Highly recommend, a true classic.

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Barbara N.

This is about the culture and customs lived by wealthy women in China. While their lives were secluded within their homes they were ruled by strict expectations. In contrast the Pulitzer Prize author, Pearl Buck wrote The Good Earth about lives of the poor farmer and family with strong ties to the land.

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Anonymous

Great book by Lisa See but The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane is the best

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