Saturday, May 31, 2008

Peony in Love II

So, I decided to finish Peony in Love afterall, and I'm really glad I did.

I learned a lot about Chinese cultural traditions around death and the after world...we observe many of the practices in our family but I had never really understood why and now I why, when we go to my father's grave site we always bring food and burn incense and million dollar "Hell Notes", and the belief that the soul is made up of 3 parts - one which stays with the body, one which travels to the after world, and one which resides in one's ancestor tablet so they may watch over the generations to come.

I was impressed again with how well-researched this novel was - See's Snow Flower and the Secret Fan which I had read back in February was detailed in its description of the footbinding process, so much so that I cringed when reading it.

I'm now very much looking forward to her next book which is tentatively called Shanghai Girls and set in 1937 Shanghai and Los Angeles.

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