I read Lisa See's new book, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, on a Christmas train trip, finishing it, compulsively, in several spared-from-children hours on the coast of California . It is wildly imaginative, and completely, spectacularly mesmerizing. The enormous amount of historical and factual information that's interwoven into the story of two young girls and their lifelong emotional attachment is integral to the story, but never overwhelming; in fact, each piece of that information begs to be studied and thought about in full, on its own. See's two primary characters are each wonderful, each flawed, and each has a singular voice that nevertheless serves as voice for millions of women for centuries. It is simply captivating, a phenomenal reading experience.
Berkeley 's Internationally Famous Bookstores
I really enjoyed this book. I liked the way the author told a compelling story of friendship, betrayal, forgiveness, and redemption while weaving in the customs of the late 1800's in China . Arranged marriages and especially arranged friendships seem so alien to me. The secret written language of women was something new to consider - we certainly haven't heard much about that.
I found myself looking on the internet for more info on foot binding, and trying to imagine how I could have ever done that to my two daughters.
Willow Books, Acton
I am a book buyer for a small bookstore in Alaska and receive many advanced editions of books every season.
I received your new book from Random House last month. For once, I am glad that I took a book home with me. A lot of the time, when I take a book home, it becomes a burden. The books are left on the floor for my cats to sit on. Sometimes they end up in a box for the teachers of my son's school to read (teachers love free books). Sometimes they go to charity. It's not that I don't care for books; I wish I had time to read them all, but most are orphaned & sent on. There are just too many to read!
But I kept yours, thankfully. Something about it drew me in. The thinness of it. The weight of it. The color of it. The opening lines drew me in. The whole time I was reading it, I was thinking, this book just isn't thick enough, it should be longer, and it should weigh more. But when I finished it, I found that everything was there. It didn't need any more words or pages. It was complete.
Anchorage , Alaska
Thank you so much for sending me an advance copy of "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan."
Not since "Memoirs of a Geisha" have I read a book so vivid and brilliant in its depiction of Asian history. Lisa See speaks of women in China during the 1800's, of friendship, regret and forgiveness, all with compassion and empathy unequaled.
Her descriptions of the custom of foot-binding actually made my heart race, and the closeness of the laotong pact brought tears to my eyes. I cannot wait to recommend this book in July. Truly a triumph for this amazing author!
Manager (and ninja-reader) Lafayette Bookstore
Lafayette , CA
Thank you so much for sending me Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. I was so incredibly moved at the emotion of Lisa See's imagery. Not only do you follow the path of 2 characters you care for immensely, but also you see the colors of their clothes, smell the aroma of their food, feel the fabric under their fingers, and taste the bitterness of their pain. What an amazing story and a snapshot of history I will not soon forget.
Margie Scott Tucker
San Francisco , CA
Not since Civil Action or the Kite Runner have I been so excited about a book. I Loved it. Snow Flower teaches you the understanding of love, its meanings and commitment. Her story is thought provoking and powerful.
Thank you for what I believe will be a number one best seller.
Bunch of Grapes