Category: Adult, Fiction 284
SkoMomma's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Love, passion, poetry and wisdom combine to tell the story of Peony, the girl living against the backdrop of China during the Manchu reign. This was a very enjoyable book, not only because of the story, but also because of the glimpse into historical culture. We learn of the role of women, footbinding, and the cultural customs and beliefs of that time. We follow Peony's life and afterlife as she struggles to understand what love is and what love does. I found the detail on various rituals and beliefs to be absolutely fascinating. Truthfully, I could not get over the fact that young girls went through the very painful process of foot-binding. I did a little internet research on the topic and was horrified to see photos of women's feet that had been deformed and caused life-long health issues. Funny, someday maybe people will look back and say the same thing about modern day women's footwear.
I won't give much away about the storyline, it is much better to discover it yourself. Peony as a young woman of status longs to marry for love and not by the prearrangement as was custom to the day. Her dreams are perpetuated through her fascination with the opera The Peony Pavilion. She learns to understand not only love between husband and wife, but the love between parent and child.
Lisa See is also author of the best-selling Snowflower and the Secret Fan which I read several years ago and enjoyed, although I felt Peony in Love was better in comparison.
My only complaint is that some of the sections were a little on the wordy side, but other than that, it was an enjoyable read.
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