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Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Peony in Love"

by Lisa Lee, AF, 2007, audio CD, 13hrs, rating=3

"For young Peony, betrothed to a suitor she has never met, these lyrics from The Peony Pavilion mirror her own longings. In the garden of the Chen Family Villa, amid the scent of ginger, green tea, and jasmine, a small theatrical troupe is performing scenes from this epic opera, a live spectacle few females have ever seen. Like the heroine in the drama, Peony is the cloistered daughter of a wealthy family, trapped like a good-luck cricket in a bamboo-and-lacquer cage. Though raised to be obedient, Peony has dreams of her own." (Goodreads)

A well written and appearingly well researched historical based book of oppressive Chinese women in the 17th century.  As passionate in detail in depicting the journey of struggles in love, desire to be heard, and destinies of these women, it was incredibly a downer!  The longing, the hardships, the traditions, the sadness, the fight in a man's world, etc. was endless.  For me, the mood of the book was too depressing; although it ended with triumph.  I suppose that's how it was for women in those days ... a very long journey for recognition.  For that I do appreciate the bringing into consciousness a story of women overcoming adversities.

If you like historical fiction, then this is the book for you.  It did captivate a vivid glimpse into the complicated rituals and afterlife beliefs that are/might be found in the Chinese culture.

1 comment:

  1. To read or not to read. I found the Shanghai girls too whiny but loved the snow flower, so your review certainly helps in my decision!!

    BTW, you won Exit the Actress. I e-mailed you and also posted it today:)


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