Review: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don't know how I feel after having read this book. It was interesting but I found it overwhelmingly sad. From the detailed foot binding to the low worth expressed for girls & women, to Beautiful Moon's death & the estrangement of Lily & Snow Flower, I was constantly hoping for more light at the end of the tunnel. It ends on what I can most optimistically call a bittersweet note but by then I was basically just glad that it wasn't a longer book & that it was over. Lily had run her course. I was glad she shared and more than happy that we wouldn't need to visit again.

I tried not to let my modern sensibilities intrude on my enjoyment of the story but I must admit that I kept hoping that Lily & Snow Flower would break from the constraints of their lives with more than the nu shu. Perhaps that's limited of me but there always seemed to be glimpses that Lily & Snow Flower were not satisfied with the treatment they received but in the end, they fulfilled their dictated roles. I do think that it was realistic and certainly not a typical way to close the character arcs & that did keep me reading & interested.

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