Oh, my friends, this book broke my heart. Lisa See wrote a beautiful book set in 19th century China, and her writing makes you feel like you are reading the caligraphy on the secret fan itself. She does an amazing job of explaining traditional Chinese elements without removing you from the story when she does. The voice captures a proper, obedient woman who also opens her heart to her love and flaws. Two girls bind themselves together in a laotong ("old same") relationship during their foot-binding days (age six). This friendship is a commitment that is supposed to be closer than any other, including the marriage relationship, but after twenty-seven years of love, misunderstandings break their contract. I finished it last night and cried. Then I dreamt about it. This book will stay with me. It haunts you, revealing both the hardships of a woman's life in that era, the beauty of their friendships, and the pain of the story. Another highly recommended book.
Side note: I love reading books in different cultures. I love seeing the differences, the beauties and tragedies, and I love seeing the commonality of the human race. What do you guys think?