Peony in Love

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Score: 4 0 5
4
65 Ratings

Peony in Love Book Summary


BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Lisa See's Shanghai Girls.

“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 daughter’ s 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 one’ s 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.



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Peony in Love - Lisa See Reviews

  • Loved this one

    By Pculea
    5
    After reading this book I had to order The Peony Pavillion, which Lisa See did research on. Lisa See always develops characters I fall in love with. I also read Pearl Bucks Peony. And, peonies are my favorite flower.
  • pretty depressing

    By Toni FGMAMTC
    2
    I think this is probably one of those stories you either really like or don't. It sort of reminds me of a fable. The writing is good, but the storyline isn't for me. Women are just property. There's so much tragedy. It made me feel depressed. Sometimes the sad parts in a book give me the feels, but this just made me feel sorry for them and downhearted.
  • Omg awesome

    By [email protected]
    5
    Best book ever! Beautiful tragedy, written so gracefully. You can almost close your eyes and be within the world of the book, the detail is so excellent! Lisa See is one of the few Anglo American writers that writes as with an almost authentic Asian voice, her research is incredible.
  • Peoni in Love

    By Jewelee333
    5
    You will need to keep an open mind for this book. I had to put the book down a few chapters in because I was distraught and mad at Lisa See. After about 2 weeks I continued to read the book and I don't regret it.
  • Different

    By bananas30
    3
    I tried to enjoy this as much as her other books but it just didn't work for me. Do a little research before purchasing. Some may enjoy it but don't expect it to be like her other novels.
  • Unbelievable

    By shinningv
    5
    Love Peony in Love, Lisa does a great job in bringing the character to live. I have read all her reason books and not once was I disappointed
  • Great Book!

    By CrazyJungSays
    5
    I learned so much about Chinese culture of that time from reading this book! The main character's growth and development was something that really captivated me about this book. I must admit my slight frustration at the main character at the beginning of the story due to what appears to be weakness, but her growth and understanding of all that was happening around her really developed the story beautifully. It's amazing and does not disappoint. This was also my first Lisa See book that I read. I am now a big fan of her work and hope to read more of her books soon!
  • One of my favorite books

    By rdbrooke31
    5
    The themes in this book are a little more complex than some of her others but I think that's what made this book special for me. It took the concept of love so much further than your ordinary story. As the Caucasian mother of four children from China I've always been deeply interested in Chinese culture and history and this book brought much of it to life. After reading Peony I also finally understand the Chinese concept of Hungry Ghost. If you like historical fiction and lots of raw emotion and struggle you will enjoy this book. The book moves similar to the emotions of the characters and is not for those looking for fast paced romance novel. You need to savor this one to enjoy it.
  • Intense and Captivating

    By Erics Mom
    4
    The followup to "Snowflower" is different but does not disappoint. Another beautiful rendering by Lisa See which places you intensely in the world of the main character. My heart was pounding as Peony took me through her life and captivated me with her emotion, desire and passion. Another beautiful story leaving me wanting the next book!
  • Boring

    By Glad_e
    2
    I wish I had downloaded the sample first instead of buying the book immediately. I'm a fan of the author so I thought I would really like this novel but was disappointed in the main character. I don't want to give anything away so I won't go into detail but I thought it was boring.

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