Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

A few years ago, I read this sweet story of friendship between two young girls in 19th century China.  Both girls endure foot binding yet they are from different economic backgrounds.  I have recommended it to several of my friends but I think it would also be an interesting read for young girls with vivid imaginations and interested in Chinese history.

Description from Amazon:
In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, an “old same,” in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she’s written a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men. As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on the fan and compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Together they endure the agony of footbinding and reflect upon their arranged marriages, their loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace in their friendship, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their relationship suddenly threatens to tear apart.

Also found in the Central Arkansas Library system.

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