In nineteenth century China, 7-year-old Lily lives among such traditions as foot binding, and match makers, where daughters are meant to be matched to men of power, as a daughter… is a lowly thing, where sons are raved on and honored and live in their birth homes forever.
Girls, such as Lily were paired with laotongs, “old sames” friendships that were meant to last a lifetime and Lily is paired with Snow Flower who is believed to come from a higher social standard which will be good for Lily’s eventual husband matching.
The girls quickly become the closest of friends, sharing messages of hopes and dreams sent to one another on handkerchiefs and within the folds of a fan.
As the years pass and the girls grow to young women their times together change from girlish whispers and giggles to talks of their arranged marriages, loneliness, and motherhood. As time passes, things change and Lily and Snow flower are torn apart.
Now, Lily, years later, as Snow Flower lays close to death – Lily recaps what happened, and how she can possibly ask for forgiveness from the one person who was always by her side.
It is not often I will say this, but if you have not read or listened to this book – I want you to drop everything and run to your local book store, or your favorite online ordering spot and secure a copy for yourself. Trust me, you will be glad you did. This is one of the best books I have listened to this year.
This was not the type of story that takes a while to get into… no, from the very beginning I entered nineteenth century China I was taken in by the sites, and by the traditions as Snow Flower and The Secret Fan is filled with tradition… painful images of foot binding, match makers, and most importantly… the laotong (a friendship that I will go into more when I post the movie review tomorrow.)
And really… that is what Snow Flower And The Secret Fan is about is friendship… a friendship that is more powerful than all the other relationships in Lily’s life…. and that… makes for an amazing story.
Normally when I am done listening to an audio it goes on my giveaway shelf as I know I will not listen to it again. This time, I will be hanging on to this audio book as I know I will listen to it again someday and remember Lily and Snow Flower.
I bought this audio from Amazon.com