I fell in love with reading, when I was very young and this love intensified over the years. I have stacks of books everywhere. There are books I want to read, there a books I have to read; there is a stack of books that I call brain-food and another one that I call entertainment. One stack of books is special -it’s a rather small one- that one I call treasure reads.
The treasure reads are the books I read when I have enough time to travel, because that’s how special books make me feel; they make me feel, like I just stepped on a magical carpet and they take me away on a journey to places I didn’t even know existed.
I took such an amazing book journey last week and I would like to talk about it.
The book is called “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan,” by Lisa See and I can’t even remember the last time a book made me feel that way; I did’t want it to end.
In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan country, a girl names Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong or “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 has 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 year 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. They both endure the agony of foot-binding and together reflect upon their arranged marriages, shared loneliness and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace, developing a bond that keeps their spirit alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their deep friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart.
― Lisa See,
I had always hoped to find a book similar to “The Geisha” and now, after reading it, I would rate “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan,” even higher. The novel offers everything that I expect from a good book. It is exciting, dramatic, educational and it is written in a beautiful, colorful language, while still keeping a captivating simplicity.
The book gives a deep insight into the strange, far eastern world and their customs and traditions.
An interview in a magazine with an old Chinese woman, who talked about the secret writing nu shu, led me to read this ravishing book.
“When I knew I couldn’t suffer another moment of pain, and tears fell on my bloody bindings, my mother spoke softly into my ear, encouraging me to go one more hour, one more day, one more week, reminding me of the rewards I would have if I carried on a little longer. In this way, she taught me how to endure — not just the physical trials of foot-binding and childbearing but the more torturous pain of the heart, mind, and soul.”
― Lisa See,
If you ever feel like taking a trip on a magical carpet, then you might want to read it as well.
“You may be desperate, but never let anyone see you as anything less than a cultivated woman.”
― Lisa See,