Monday, March 24, 2008

I Like Small Feet, and I Cannot Lie...

Title: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Author: Lisa See

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan was a selection of my “real life” book club. I didn’t vote for it and didn’t expect much, but found myself enjoying it more than I’d anticipated. Learning about nu shu, the secret women’s writing kept hidden from men for generations, was fascinating. I’d like to visit a museum exhibit about it one day. And the descriptions of foot-binding were terrifying and excruciatingly gruesome. Ouch. I didn’t know it was as horrible as it actually was. These girls were disfigured. Check out the pictures.

The story was entertaining enough, and tells the history of the friendship between Lily (the narrator) and Snow Flower, two girls who were made laotongs, or old sames, in a ceremony that bonded them together for life. Honestly, however, I was expecting (and looking forward to) more melodrama. Maybe some adultery or murder would have been nice, but the most exciting thing Lee gave us was a very long insult. (Three-hundred pages, and all I got was a Letter of Vituperation!) Although to be honest, the book was better for the lack of melodrama.

Anyway, for further plot details, I refer you to ~e’s review. I agree with pretty much everything she said. Overall, I liked it – and greatly respected See’s research and level of detail – and am rather surprised I did.

Labels: , , ,

posted by Elizabeth at 8:12 PM


Blogger Kat said...

OUCH!! Those pictures are horrible. I knew footbinding was incredibly painful but I didn't know exactly what the resulting foot was like. The cruel things that are done to children.

3/25/2008 9:47 AM  

Post a Comment