Peony is the cherished only child of the first wife of a wealthy Chinese nobleman. Yet she is betrothed to a man she has never met and as her sixteenth birthday approaches, she has spoken to no man other than her father and never ventured outside the cloistered women's quarters of the Chen Family Villa. She is trapped like a good-luck cricket in a ...
Peony is the cherished only child of the first wife of a wealthy Chinese nobleman. Yet she is betrothed to a man she has never met and as her sixteenth birthday approaches, she has spoken to no man other than her father and never ventured outside the cloistered women's quarters of the Chen Family Villa. She is trapped like a good-luck cricket in a bamboo-and-lacquer cage and the romantic lyrics from the Chinese classic novel The Peony Pavilion mirror her own longings. Though raised to be obedient, Peony has dreams of her own. Her father engages a small theatrical troupe to perform scenes from the epic opera of The Peony Pavilion - a live spectacle that few women have ever seen - in their garden amidst the scent of ginger, green tea and jasmine. Peony's mother is against the production: "Unmarried girls should not be seen in public." But Peony's father prevails. Women will watch the opera from behind a screen to hide them from view and through a crack, Peony catches sight of an elegant, handsome man with hair as black as a cave and is immediately bewitched by him. So begins Peony's journey of love, desire and sorrow as Lisa See's haunting new novel takes readers back to seventeenth-century China and into the heart and soul of an unforgettable heroine.
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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