Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Book Review: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Title: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Author: Lisa See

Premise: In 19th-century rural Hunan, China, a girl named Lily is arranged to have a lifelong friendship with a girl who is exactly her age, named Snow Flower, by a matchmaker. The book, with many plot twists, follows Lily from ages five to eighty. (I don't want to give too much away, since the plot unfolds so nicely.)

My take on it: This book draws you in from the beginning, and doesn't let you go until the end. Even then, though, it makes you think back on it. That is the first thing you must know about this book: once you start, you're in it to the end.

Next, the characters are quite sympathetic-- even the cruelest characters have their reasons. There is no "bad guy" in this book;  there are the characters, all of whom cause each other grief (and sometimes despair), and all of whom have their reasons for doing so.

Third, the plot is beautiful, although I have a few warnings here. For one thing, this book is not for the emotionally unstable. If you suffer from, say, severe depression, this book will hurt you emotionally in some parts. Ah, who am I kidding, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is sad, and, remember that Lily is eighty by the end of the book, most of the characters are dead by the end of the book, whether from old age or other causes.

For another thing, and I must warn you here just in case this bothers you, two of the main characters, including Lily, are lesbian. There is one love scene, which Lily, the narrator, denies is a love scene, and then there are small hints throughout the book. (The hints aren't obvious, though.)

Now, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a wonderful book, in my humble opinion, and I've been raving about it so far. So, I'm going to rave just a little more. Put simply, Lisa See's writing style is awesome. I don't know if she learned it or if it just comes to her naturally, but she can write.

Summary: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a masterpiece, with sympathetic characters, a beautifully unfolding plot, and amazing writing. Not terribly happy, though.

Welcome to The Velveteen Lolita!

Hello, all!

This is a Lolita-themed blog-- and by "Lolita" I mean the fashion. If you already know what Lolita fashion is, feel free to skip this next paragraph. Otherwise, read on.

Lolita is a Japanese fashion based on Victorian children's clothing. It involves poofy knee-length skirts and blouses, as well as frilly dresses, as the main articles of clothing. Also included are knee-high or over-the-knee socks, dressy shoes, and various head accessories, like bows and bonnets. Don't forget the lace! Lots of lace can be found in Lolita fashion, on just about any piece of clothing or accessory that you can think of.

About This Blog
This blog is about being a Lolita. It can be easy at times, and at other times... not-so-easy. Everywhere from the small town to the big city, there will be people who adore the style and people who hate it.

This blog will include articles (as well as shorter posts) about Lolitas, as well as book and fairy tale reviews, around-the-world Lolita fashion, and (possibly) some recipes.

I hope that ladies (and gents) find this blog to be informative, perhaps shedding a different light on Lolita and the subjects that matter to us.

About Me
So, I am a Lolita. I love to go out with a blouse, skirt, (or perhaps in a dress) and petticoat. There aren't many other Lolitas in the area, so I feel it's my duty to give a good impression to other people. This means I'm very careful to avoid being an Ita, or "Ouch" Loli. At the same time, I do wear sneakers. (They're nice sneakers, though.) I also sometimes wear kerchiefs in my hair.

I'm also a lifestyle Lolita, in a sense: I embroider, sew, play the piano, sing, and participate in other lifestyle-ish activities. However, there's a catch: I don't wear Lolita every day. I would if I had enough Lolita clothes to last a week, but I don't.

This blog is a Lolita blog. Whether that means dressing up in a skirt to you or embroidering a flower, hopefully you'll find what you're looking for here.
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