About this item
Coded communications eloquently detail the (literally and figuratively) painful constrictions (such as foot-binding) and unexpected rewards of the traditions by which 19th-century Chinese country women conducted their lives. Lily, an elderly matriarch, looks back at her intimate friendship with Snow Flower, a relationship initiated when both were seven years old with a fan Snow Flower sent to Lily. Using a special women's language called "nu shu," the two pour out their innermost feelings to each another, deepening their connection throughout the years until a betrayal divides them.
In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, “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’s painted 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 years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on fans, compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Together, they endure the agony of foot-binding, and reflect upon their arranged marriages, shared loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their deep friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart.
Number of Pages: 269
Genre: Fiction + Literature Themes, Fiction + Literature Genres
Publisher: Random House, Inc.
Author: Lisa See
Street Date: February 21, 2006
Item Number (DPCI): 059-04-3631