Snow Flower and the Secret Fan : A Novel
by Lisa See
Hardcover- $11.16

Lily is haunted by memories–of who she once was, and of a person, long gone, who defined her existence. She has nothing but time now, as ...

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  "Women relationships with women. Chinese culture of 1800s." by Cathy (see profile) 03/01/06

This author made you see what it was like for a woman to live in China in this time period. The book evoked many emotions and much fodder for discussion for book clubs. Interesting to compare this story to how women live today. Paperback version has an interesting essay by the author in the back of the book with questions for discussion.

  "Gripping Story" by mhender (see profile) 10/15/06

I love books of other cultures so this one ranks very high for me. Although it was very hard to read through the foot binding it was a gripping story that I could not put down. It is a book that I will remember and I'm sure I will reread Snow Flower and the Secret Fan again and again.

  "story of 2 woman who stuggle to maintain their frienship despite a disapproving social caste system" by PEP2312 (see profile) 01/20/07

discover the true meaning of friendship between women

  "An excellent, thought provoking book" by LisaMM (see profile) 02/15/07

  "An interesting book that took you into the lives of the women of china." by lesleychivers (see profile) 04/18/07

  "An examination of relationships between women in China" by sheilafri (see profile) 04/20/07

This book is an interesting examination of women's culture in old China. It illustrates a different way of life. Although far removed from our American culture in time and place, it brings up many issues of interest to us today. How do women form and nurture relationships--between friends, sisters, mothers and daughters? How do women react to cultural definitions of beauty? How do you reconcile love and the pain that it can cause?

"Snow Flower" is an excellent book for a book club to read and discuss.

  "Lovely story of Chinese women. Learned a lot about chinese women and their culture." by interbrook (see profile) 04/20/07

  "Very emotional book, great topics for discussion." by Jobanna (see profile) 05/17/07

This was the most enjoyable book our group read this year.

  "Deeply moving account of friendship" by tracey3566 (see profile) 05/23/07

This was a deeply moving book...the friendship the women share and the hidden suffering of women in China is facinating. I could not put it down, and I hated to see it end. There is so much to discuss!

  "Couldn't put it down." by aheneka (see profile) 05/26/07

I really enjoyed this book. It was a pleasurable and easy read. The footbinding stuck in my mind for weeks, though. Still not sure I'm over it.

  "Moving and beautifully written" by julialily (see profile) 07/18/07

This was a fabulous, insightful novel set in 1800's rural China. It was a little slow going in the beginning but well worth the initial effort. It is beautifully written; sad as well as uplifting. We found ourselves intellectually enlightened and emotionally drained. It made for a wonderful discussion.

  "Great read" by bbentz (see profile) 04/12/08

A great read although some of us in club were very disturbed about the feet binding. Wonderfully written, a story of loyalty and trust and how women bind together.

  "I'm half way through and can't stop thinking about the story . . ." by kj1948 (see profile) 09/25/08

I can't wait to share this with others in my bookclub.

  "Beautiful!" by Lv2shop (see profile) 04/01/09

We haven't read too many books on asian culture, but this book takes you inside the walls of a household of dominating men and how the females endured pain and suffering to be worthy of a husband. As painful as it was to read how their little feet were bound everyday, it really opened up our eyes into their world.

  "I could not put this book down!" by carriebino (see profile) 06/16/09

I truly enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down.
It is a curtural trip to China in the late 1800's. Very different from the other books we have read. It gets you thinking about your own female relationships. Great Book!!!!

  "Beautifully written novel" by jenniferharding (see profile) 07/09/09

Told from the view point of a poor farmers daughter in nineteenth century China, this novel follows the lifelong friendship of two girls as they endure endless challenges throughout their lives. We follow the narrator (Lily) through footbinding, marriage, her children, and the deaths of many of her loved ones. This is a beautifully written yet sometimes painful to read story. The author does an amazing job of transporting the reader to another time and place. Everyone in my book club enjoyed this book. We had plenty to talk about and I would definitely recommend this to other book clubs.

  "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by shawntel (see profile) 08/27/09

  "Snowflower and the Secret fan is a beautiful reminder about how fragile life is." by JenniferJennings (see profile) 08/29/09

An amazing story of courage and friendship.

  "Beautiful Historical Fiction" by mgulotti (see profile) 11/11/09

I absolutely loved this book. Even though it's fiction it's a poignant look on the role of women in China. It was well written. When I lend this one to friends, I request that it's returned as soon as they're finished. I would never want to part with my copy.

  "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by greektrisha (see profile) 12/07/09

A must read for women, really illustrates what we need to be - should be as a true friend.

  "A moving story" by jdjennib (see profile) 01/12/10

I felt the beginning was slow but 1/2 way through the book i couldn't put it down. I wanted to read the next chapter. It was very interesting and moving. Should make for good discussions at the meeting about roles of women/wives.

  "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/16/10

This was one of the first books we read as a club. It was an eye-opener to all of us concerning the lives of women in China. It was told in a beautiful and sympathetic way.

  "Snowflower and the Secret Fan" by joannemorrone (see profile) 01/16/10

I loved it- I read it in less that a week- a little slow at first and then I didn't want to put it down.

  "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by mgenduso (see profile) 01/17/10

  "Vintage Prose rates Snow Flower and the Secret Fan 4.4" by dcokingtin (see profile) 01/22/10

The majority of our group enjoyed. This book was insightful to us in two ways. Life in China and how poor communication between friends can ruin a friendship or set a friendship back.

  "Interesting" by jennmarshall79 (see profile) 01/25/10

  "Excellent historic fiction. !!!" by janehansen (see profile) 01/28/10

  "Interesting insights on the culture of chinese women" by RRUrbans (see profile) 02/13/10

  "One of the best books I have read" by smurfet319 (see profile) 04/17/10

Snow flower and the secret fan is a love story between 2 friends! It is about the undieing friendship and love 2 little girls create and keep throughout there lives!

  "Enlightening and Thought Provoking" by busygal (see profile) 05/05/10

I found myself thinking about these characters all day long and wishing I could grab my book to find out what would happen to them next. For me, the true sign of a great book.

  "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by laurajohnson (see profile) 06/09/10

This is a beautiful book that explores women's friendships and relationships. While I was reading this book, I hardly came up for air... I was completely enthralled. It just captured me and exported me to another time and place. I love when books do that. Can't wait to read Shanghai Girls.

  "Good Book!!" by cartc11 (see profile) 06/21/10

I couldn't put this one down! The morale at the end really stuck with me.

  "Snow Flower was addictive" by BinnyJH (see profile) 07/08/10

I really enjoyed getting locked into this book. The story is not only interesting but informative too. The kind of book where you come away and feel that it was really worth your time. The characters were involving and would recommend to all!

  "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by cordiva (see profile) 07/13/10

This was one of the first books our book club read and after many years still remains at the top! We still refer to it. I love reading books with a historical flair...I learned so much about ancient Mandarin China while being swept away with the story line. Great discussion, plot and characters...truly significant...a must read.

  "Snow Flower" by CindyW (see profile) 07/21/10

  "A story of love between two chinese girls (old-sames)" by nanascurse (see profile) 08/07/10

Two young Chinese girls, from diverse financial backgrounds, learn and grow together. Foot-binding is explained as the young girls must bear that horrific, painful ritual. Strong bonds are formed as these girls become women and grow to have families of their own. Friendships change, secrets are kept, feelings are hurt, truth is uncovered....I sobbed uncontrollably while reading this.

  "Lovely" by sweetee (see profile) 08/31/10

“Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel” by Lisa See

Enticing! I bought this book because it was pretty! Lucky for me, this book, judged by its cover, was a good one. Ms. See has written a lovely story about life long friends, Lily and Snowflower. Because it takes place in early 19th Century China, we are exposed to the many rituals, customs, and ceremonies of the women in this culture. Because of the rigid codes of conduct for the women of this time period, we learn of their secret written code known as “NuShu”, which dates back 1,000 years.

We feel the pain of food binding and learn why it was a custom: “Only through pain will you have beauty. Only through suffering will you have peace.”

This beautifully written novel will touch your heart, educate your mind and remain in your memory for years to come.

Get it! Read it! Devour it today!!!
(from my 'book bagg' blog @

  "Loved it!" by SharonBrower (see profile) 09/01/10

This for sure went on all our top favorite's list

  "beautiful and haunting" by gymbackmom (see profile) 09/29/10

  "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by kuehne (see profile) 10/02/10

Started a bit slowly but rapidly drew me in to a place and era in which I had no previous exposure. It truly made me stop and think about my longest female friendships. The description of foot binding actually made me feet hurt. What a cruel way to place value on a woman. I really enjoyed the book and am planning on sending a copy to my longest term girlfriend.

  "Snowflower and the Secret Fan" by ashleeparker (see profile) 10/25/10

Excellent book. Opens your eyes to a whole new culture and lifestyle. Really makes you appreciate the day and age you live in!

  "Incredible book" by 1morechapter (see profile) 02/14/11

Wow!! This is an amazing book. It is a story about women in China and their relationships to their families, husbands, and each other. They must first obey their father, then their husband, and then even their son. Their feet are bound to become more “marriageable” – the smaller the foot, the better the marriage prospects. We’re talking about 7 cm here! The lives of these women were very harsh, and some were unbearable. Their hardships, work, pain, and desire for love came through very vividly in this novel.

I recommend this book be read by all women.

  "Highly Recommend!" by crj2kjj (see profile) 03/10/11

  "very good read" by peggyjud (see profile) 03/18/11

  "One of my favorite all-time books" by PegCherre (see profile) 03/26/11

Snowflower & The Secret Fan is a GREAT read. Or listen on CD. I was riveted in both formats. I believe it's Lee's best book.

  "Good story but could have been deeper" by yherrera (see profile) 04/11/11

I like the book. It was a quick read and interesting and the information on foot binding was fascinating. However I did think the characters could have been developed better.

  "An emotionally and culturally rich read about friendship and women." by tnfrench2000 (see profile) 05/01/11

  "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by nicole27 (see profile) 06/15/11

  "Snow Flower" by acesmom (see profile) 06/18/11

Wish I could rate half points as, to me, it was somewhere between a 3 and 4.....however, opted for 4 since it really WAS a good read....Touching.....Educational....Wonderful descriptions and wonderful characters.

  "Eye opening" by shannon2729 (see profile) 07/01/11

  "Fascinating" by frogerella (see profile) 07/07/11

The book is about a lifelong, intimate friendship between 2 women in China. Their story begins just before the age of 6 through the end of their life. The book draws you to experience each phase of their lives. You begin the journey with traditional footbinding. A painful and sorrowful story that parallels our own modern day stories. We may not bind our feet, but we still have our own forms of bondage that we suffer through.

  "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See" by bethbub (see profile) 07/15/11

Snow Flower caught my attention at the very beginning and never lost it. The lifelong relationship between the two main characters, Snow Flower and Lily has many unexpected twists and setting it in 19th century China with foot binding, arranged marriages and the cloistered existence of women was eye opening and poignant. How fortunate we are to live in modern day America.

  "Cried like a baby" by homeisbest (see profile) 07/21/11

The friendship and betrayal became so real to me that I literally wept at the conclusion. I was not the only one, several of our book group did the same!

  "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by sblank (see profile) 07/21/11

Very impelling book. Did not want to stop reading it.

  "great" by jenniferldj (see profile) 07/22/11

  "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by blsnshin (see profile) 07/27/11

Because of the cultural differences in China compared to how I was raised in the U.S., it was difficult to read about such subserviance from the women and know they held no value other than to birth male children (hopefully). However, the story was beautifully written and extremely compelling to find out what happened next. The friendship between Lily and Snow Flower touched my heart, even through the most innocent of misunderstandings causing both severe reprocussions AND a society's acceptance of Lily and the standards she set for all women in her village. Great read and strongly recommend it!

  "Will want to read all of her books" by Cleo (see profile) 08/04/11

  "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by dwenzel (see profile) 08/16/11

  "Snow Flower" by cao324 (see profile) 08/24/11

Wonderfully written book. Writes about an aspect of Asian culture in the 1800's I didn't know much about. The subject matter could definitely lead to interesting discussion!

  "A story about friendship" by ktbear (see profile) 08/29/11

  "Mesmerizing...I did not want to put this down!" by KrissyW12120 (see profile) 08/30/11

  "Snow Flower and The Secret Fan" by freyapalmer (see profile) 09/01/11

Just beautifully written!

  "Secret Fan" by KayHuck (see profile) 09/29/11

Like most lives there are good times and bad times. Lisa See tells these events in a straight forward manner, never glossing over the pain of footbinding and the many consequences that are a result of this tradition in Chinese culture of the 15th century. However she balances the story with the deep friendship and simple joys of life.
Generated great discussion on having Sames and Sworn Sisters, as well as rituals of different cultures.

  "Recommend to read!" by tpurcell (see profile) 10/19/11

I really didn't want to read this book when our club selected but am so glad that we read it! This is one of the best books our club has read!

  "Great Book for Discussion" by netmayo (see profile) 11/10/11

Our discussion for this book was one of our most detailed and longest. We got to talking about alot of different issues that came from reading this book.

  "Disfunctional families-Chinese style" by msharry (see profile) 12/13/11

This is my third Lisa See book. As usual it depicts the time and cultural traditions of China in a readable manner filled with characters filled with strengths and flaws. The whole laotong-relationship was new to me, and I found it both enlightened in its acknowledgement of the need women have for a friend to share their lives and confidences with especially in such a male-dominating culture--and disturbing in the way it was almost a competing marriage complete with physical intimacy. The whole foot-binding trauma, the premarital rituals, and the women's writing were vividly described.

  "Resounding Hit!" by NRPublicLibrary (see profile) 12/14/11

This book was a huge hit for our bookclub everyone loved it!It was heartbreaking and beautiful all at the same time. This books leads to a great discussion.We recommend this book to Everyone!

  "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by LT888 (see profile) 12/28/11

Amazing story of the power of women even in a time when women had to hide behind men. Read this book!

  "Loved it!" by mriter11 (see profile) 01/13/12

  "Disturbing, yet thought provoking" by tmatteucci (see profile) 02/02/12

  "Unbound" by Paula_S (see profile) 02/22/12

Wow....what an insightful book. It was very well written and I actually came unbound at times when reading through some of the tragic portions. I do believe I actually shed some tears and found myself pondering the lives of these two women throughout the days.

  "Great read!" by stephkima (see profile) 04/22/12

Awesome book!

  "Beautifully Written" by mybcjac24 (see profile) 06/24/12

An inspiring look into the power of the human soul.

  "Interesting, well written and an easy read, but very sad" by jessmstanley (see profile) 08/04/12

This book is about the love and friendship between two Chinese girls/women, Snow Flower and Lily, that spans throughout their lifetime. It's set in 19th century China, which was a very oppressing time for women. A time when they had virtually no worth at all in their families, villages and society unless they were able to bear a son. Never the less, they found beauty and love in simple things and triumphed above it, sometimes if only in their own hearts. This story is beautiful, thought provoking and heart wrenching. Some of it is hard to read, the foot binding is graphic and disturbing. I definitely cried and found myself thinking about Snow Flower and Lily after the book ended. The overall consensus of our book club was that it was a good book, just really sad.

  "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by manfly (see profile) 08/05/12

This is a well written, historical fiction. The content is difficult and somewhat depressing though. I would recommend it, but realize it isn't light reading.

  "Well written, but a bit depressing" by Jewelz (see profile) 08/07/12

This book was extremely well written, but is not something I would have picked up on my own. I enjoyed learning more about the culture of 19th century Chinese women. It made me very thankful to be born in this particular time period and country. The characters were great, but it was just one of those books that make you want to smack the main character because she is so frustrating in some of her faults.

  "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by MAKKeyes (see profile) 11/08/12

  "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by threejay (see profile) 11/27/12

  "A great historical fiction novel!" by alvey (see profile) 01/28/13

Painful to read at times, but very interesting! I learned a lot about this time period in China that I did not know before!

  "Couldn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t put it down!" by Wvgirlygirl27 (see profile) 02/12/13

Great book that made for deep discussions for my book club.

  "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by amber03 (see profile) 02/18/13

A tale of old china involving the lives of laotongs. Laotongs means Old sames or means friends for life. It is about their journey through life as daughters, sisters, friends, wives and mothers. I found this book interesting and thought provoking with some drama thrown in.

  "An interesting read" by knitmarisa (see profile) 03/01/13

We liked this book overall. The footbinding part was hard for us to read, but we had a really good discussion, comparing the themes in the book to women\\\'s experiences today.

  "Snow and the Secret Fan" by suemarhunt (see profile) 07/16/13

good book. Very informative on foot binding in the culture of women.

  "Loved it. " by lisjanemon (see profile) 11/13/13

My favorite book club book.

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  "A Truly Great Read" by sbsalsa (see profile) 01/11/15

If you liked Memoirs of a Geisha, you will love Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. A beautiful story of culture that compares the difficulties that class/caste/money can cause - but it\\\'s more about a wonderful relationship, how it develops, and how it comes full circle. One of the best books I\\\'ve read.

  "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by marysu (see profile) 08/03/15

I enjoyed the book, but had real trouble getting beyond the foot binding description. That remained on my mind throughout the remainder of the book and diminished the story for me

  "Women's lives" by Callie (see profile) 11/20/15

Very interesting and informative novel on woman in China, the oppression they suffered from the male dominated society and they ways of coping with women's secret communications and sister groups.

  "Great read, after the slow start" by Burgo49 (see profile) 12/28/15

Although I found this book had very slow start, after the plot started to thicken (about 30% in), I couldn't put it down. Part of the reason I think I had trouble getting through the first third of the book is because I know very little about Chinese culture or traditions during the setting of this novel.

After the 'slow' start, I became more entwined with the story and realized the first third of the book was extremely useful and necessary because it helped set the stage and truly develop the characters.

The author succeeds in painting a picture not only of this era in Chinese history, but also how destructive anger, stubbornness and selfishness can be. My heart went out to both Lily and Snow Flower. I was fully attached to both characters and found the ending beautiful.

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