This story has it all! family drama, ghost story, historical romance, family saga, musical history, coming of age, aristocracy.
This book was different than what I usually enjoy. I picked it up because it was written by Lisa See and I love her books. It starts with a very sheltered and protected 15 year old girl who falls in love and then morphs into a ghost story. That's where it got weird for me and I thought I would hate it....but the longer I read the more I really enjoyed it! The book delves into Chinese after life and it's very interesting. I will say that the first half of the book is very slow (and dare I say, a bit of a snooze) but like I said I pushed on, kept reading and it surprised me how much I enjoyed it. If you want to read this book because you read Snowflower and the Secret Fan, I will warn you it is nothing like that book.
If you like "ghost stories", this is a good choice. Well written and the storytelling does let you suspend reality, if not cross it into the world of those who have passed.
Nice insight into early Chinese culture and beliefs regarding what occurs in the afterlife, but as others have commented, it can be rather sluggish at times.
Spoiler alert:This felt like the book that never ends. The story seemed inconsistent at many points. As a ghost Peony is unable to do many physical things which later she is inexplicably able to do. The story is laden with ancient Chinese burial rites and beliefs regarding the afterlife which are many and confusing. Not my favourite Lisa See novel though I did finish it.
Not my favorite Lisa See novel, but an ok read. A lot of detail paid to ancient Chinese afterlife beliefs and rituals. There were a few exciting and suprising moments as well as some excrutiating descriptions of foot binding, but for the most part the book felt slow moving and weighed down. I was glad to finish it and would recommend any of Lisa See's other novels before trying this one.
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