"I finally understand what the poets have written. In spring, moved to passion; in autumn only regret." 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 ...
"I finally understand what the poets have written. In spring, moved to passion; in autumn only regret." 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. Peony's mother is against her daughter's attending the production: "Unmarried girls should not be seen in public." But Peony's father assures his wife that proprieties will be maintained, and that the women will watch the opera from behind a screen. Yet through its cracks, Peony catches sight of an elegant, handsome man with hair as black as a cave-and is immediately overcome with emotion. So begins Peony's unforgettable journey of love and destiny, desire and sorrow-as Lisa See's haunting new novel, based on actual historical events, takes readers back to seventeenth-century China, after the Manchus seize power and the Ming dynasty is crushed. Steeped in traditions and ritual, this story brings to life another time and place-even the intricate realm of the afterworld, with its protocols, pathways, and stages of existence, a vividly imagined place where one's soul is divided into three, ancestors offer guidance, misdeeds are punished, and hungry ghosts wander the earth. Immersed in the richness and magic of the Chinese vision of the afterlife, transcending even death, "Peony in Love" explores, beautifully, the many manifestations of love. Ultimately, Lisa See's new novel addresses universal themes: the bonds of friendship, the power of words, and the age-old desire of women to be heard. "From the Hardcover edition."
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I have read several of Ms. See's other books, and I really liked them. This one I just couldn't get into - the storyline was not what I had expected.
I would like to read her new book however - I enjoyed her "Shanghai Girls".
Dec 18, 2010
The selling experience was a definitely good experience, and I would like to do business again with this seller. I have not had a chance to read the book yet, but as soon as I can I will.
Aug 22, 2009
LIsa See the auther of Peony in love tells an amazing story about Peony, a chinese teenager who was to be married. Falling in love was a lot of the chinese girls dreams when the parents shatter it by making an arrangement marriage. I kind of hate it that she died and had to watch her love with other women. Peony died before she got married so as a custom in china they were not to make offerings to the maidens that were not maried yet, so therefore they remain with the human but invisible.A sad story to read too.
Jul 17, 2008
In Love With Peony
Peony in Love by Lisa See is the first book I have read in such a long time, which transported me to another time and place. Lisa See sweeps you along into the life of Peony and her culture, rituals and beliefs of ancient China. Lisa See's Peony In Love was the first book by the author which I had read, but after doing so, immediately read two others. I don't wish to give too much of the story away, it is in the unexpected where you find the most delight of this book. If you want to be immersed in culture different from your own, be swept up in a heart wrenching romance and carried into another world ... Peony In Love is the perfect vehicle to get you there !
Oct 10, 2007
IF YOU'VE EVER REALLY BEEN IN LOVE, YOU'LL ADORE THIS BOOK. YOU CAN REALLY RELATE TO THE CHARACTERS IN THIS BOOK WHILE STILL FEELING LIKE YOU'RE IN A FAIRY TALE; BUT WHO REALLY KNOWS.? CAN WE REALLY SEE OVER OUR LOVED ONES AFTER WE DIE?!
I DIDN'T WANT THIS BOOK TO END. AS THE MAIN CHARACTER MEETS UP WITH RELATIVES LONG GONE, SHE GOES ON A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY OF WHAT REALLY MATTERS TO EACH OF US, THE INTENSE LOVE YOU FEEL FOR THAT SPECIAL SOMEONE. I LOVED THE ORIENTAL RITUALS AND CUSTOMS THAT WERE A PART OF THIS GREAT STORY. YOU TRULY BELIEVED IN ITS' MAGICAL POWERS.
Publishers Weekly, 2007-04-23 Set in 17th-century China, See's fifth novel is a coming-of-age story, a ghost story, a family saga and a work of musical and social history. As Peony, the 15-year-old daughter of the wealthy Chen family, approaches an arranged marriage, she commits an unthinkable breach of etiquette when she accidentally comes upon a man who has entered the family garden. Unusually for a girl of her time, Peony has been educated and revels in studying The Peony Pavilion, a real opera published in 1598, as the repercussions of the meeting unfold. The novel's plot mirrors that of the opera, and eternal themes abound: an intelligent girl chafing against the restrictions of expected behavior; fiction's educative powers; the rocky path of love between lovers and in families. It figures into the plot that generations of young Chinese women, known as the lovesick maidens, became obsessed with The Peony Pavilion, and, in a Werther-like passion, many starved themselves to death. See (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, etc.) offers meticulous depiction of women's roles in Qing and Ming dynasty China (including horrifying foot-binding scenes) and vivid descriptions of daily Qing life, festivals and rituals. Peony's vibrant voice, perfectly pitched between the novel's historical and passionate depths, carries her story beautifully-in life and afterlife. (July) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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