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25 Partner Warehouse Literature- A to Z

Peony in Love

by

Peony in Love Cover

 

Staff Pick

Lisa See aptly follows her blockbuster novel, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, with a lovely book that immerses the reader deep into 17th-century Chinese culture. Part love story, part ghost story, part historical fiction; See hangs the bones of her story on the plotline of the Ming Dynasty Chinese kunqu opera, "The Peony Pavilion." Find a quiet, shady spot and savor the imagery and majesty of this compelling book.
Recommended by Danielle, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

“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 daughters 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 ones 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.

About the Author

Lisa See is the New York Times bestselling author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Flower Net (an Edgar Award nominee), The Interior, and Dragon Bones, as well as the critically acclaimed memoir On Gold Mountain. The Organization of Chinese American Women named her the 2001 National Woman of the Year. She lives in Los Angeles. Visit the author's website: www.LisaSee.com.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Cathy from Olympia, Washington, May 24, 2008 (view all comments by Cathy from Olympia, Washington)
Peony is nearly sixteen, and has never been outside the walls of her family's compound. But her life is
about to change forever-- she is to marry a man she has never met, leave her natal home forever, and live with her husband's family. What is much more exciting to Peony, however, is her father's birthday gift-- the chance to glimpse the famous opera The Peony Pavilion, which her father is bringing to the family's villa. So begins Peony in Love, a novel rich in the rituals and traditions of 17th century China, including glimpses into the after life.

A "warning" if you will. For those of you expecting a love story-- no doubt because of the title, and perhaps because you are unfamiliar with Lisa See's writings, this is NOT your typical romance by any stretch of the imagination! That said, a love story IS there, but it is more like a delicate-looking but strong silk thread weaving its way throughout the novel.

If you haven't had the pleasure of reading Lisa See yet, I would recommend starting with this novel rather than her earlier works. For me, Peony in Love is a much "lighter" novel than the acclaimed Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780812975222
Author:
See, Lisa
Publisher:
Random House Trade
Subject:
General
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Young women
Subject:
Future life
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
Ghost stories
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
china;fiction;historical fiction;ghosts;women;love;opera;romance;afterlife;historical;17th century;arranged marriage;death;novel;love story;chinese culture;history;asian;footbinding;marriage;family;poetry;lisa see;tradition;american;fantasy;feminism;women
Subject:
china;fiction;historical fiction;ghosts;women;love;opera;romance;afterlife;historical;17th century;arranged marriage;death;novel;love story;chinese culture;history;asian;footbinding;marriage;family;poetry;lisa see;tradition;american;fantasy;feminism;women
Subject:
china;fiction;historical fiction;ghosts;women;love;opera;romance;afterlife;historical;17th century;arranged marriage;death;novel;love story;chinese culture;history;asian;footbinding;marriage;family;poetry;lisa see;tradition;american;fantasy;feminism;women
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20080231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.01x5.16x.71 in. .52 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Peony in Love Used Trade Paper
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Product details 320 pages Random House Trade - English 9780812975222 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Lisa See aptly follows her blockbuster novel, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, with a lovely book that immerses the reader deep into 17th-century Chinese culture. Part love story, part ghost story, part historical fiction; See hangs the bones of her story on the plotline of the Ming Dynasty Chinese kunqu opera, "The Peony Pavilion." Find a quiet, shady spot and savor the imagery and majesty of this compelling book.

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