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1 Burnside Literature- A to Z

Peony in Love

by

Peony in Love Cover

ISBN13: 9781400064663
ISBN10: 140006466x
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

julieb43, October 31, 2009 (view all comments by julieb43)
A well-researched historical novel focusing on 17th century China about which most Westerners are probably unfamiliar.

Although I learned a lot about The Peony Pavilion opera, as well as Chinese customs and beliefs, it was dismaying to learn that anorexia, or 'love sickness' as it's called in the novel, was seen as a way for repressed women to take control of their bodies and lives.

The 'love-sick maidens,' like the title character Peony, die from their illness but live on with their words, becoming immortal. This was rather depressing, the message being that one has to die to be heard.

The novel was well-written, but I couldn't get into the story until half-way through when Peony dies and becomes a ghost--ironically (or sadly) her 'life' just seemed to get more interesting.

The supernatural elements of the story could be confusing for those unfamiliar with Chinese lore.
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nemo, December 24, 2007 (view all comments by nemo)
A lovely book that slowly unfolds to reveal how its love story, its starving lovesick maidens, its ghosts all speak to the theme of the value of women's voices.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781400064663
Author:
See, Lisa
Publisher:
Random House (NY)
Subject:
General
Subject:
Women
Subject:
History
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20070831
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9.3 x 6.3 x 1 in 1.2669 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Peony in Love Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Random House - English 9781400064663 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.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'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)' Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)"
"Review" by , "See successfully weaves the themes of the opera with her story and reveals how it speaks for many silent, foot-bound, repressed women."
"Review" by , "There's much here to be savored and a great deal to be learned."
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