Peony in Love

Peony in Love

3.59 (38,277 ratings by Goodreads)
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Peony has neither seen nor spoken to any man other than her father, a wealthy Chinese nobleman. Nor has she ever ventured outside the cloistered women's quarters of the family villa. As her sixteenth birthday approaches, she finds herself betrothed to a man she does not know, but Peony has dreams of her own. Her father engages a theatrical troupe to perform scenes from "The Peony Pavilion", a Chinese epic opera, in their garden amidst the scent of ginger, green tea and jasmine. 'Unmarried girls should not be seen in public,' says Peony's mother, but her father allows the women to watch from behind a screen. Here, Peony catches sight of an elegant, handsome man and is immediately bewitched. So begins her unforgettable journey of love, desire, sorrow and redemption.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 128 x 192 x 30mm | 281.23g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 074759273X
  • 9780747592730
  • 146,814

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Review quote

'If you liked Memoirs of a Geisha, you'll love this. One to get lost in' Eve 'An absorbing tale of love in seventeenth-century China' Woman and Home 'See is gifted with a lucid, graceful style' New York Times 'This is a brave, brilliant book' Guardian
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About Lisa See

Lisa See is the author of the best-selling Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Flower Net, The Interior and Dragon Bones, as well as the critically acclaimed memoir On Gold Mountain. The Organization of Chinese American Women named her the 2001 National Woman of the Year. She lives in Los Angeles.
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Rating details

38,277 ratings
3.59 out of 5 stars
5 22% (8,378)
4 34% (13,036)
3 29% (11,167)
2 11% (4,205)
1 4% (1,491)

Our customer reviews

I don't usually write reviews, but I read them. Because I believe Anna Bochenek's review did not do the book justice, here are a few thoughts on it. If you like books of action, where "stuff" happens, and characters and settings keep changing, then this might not be the book for you. You need a book with qi in it (lifeforce and energy). This, on the other hand, is a book of qing - clear, quiet, related to concentration, contemplation and aesthetics. It starts, similar to Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, in the inner chambers of women, where we meet the main character, Peony. While Snow Flower traveled to quite a few places, Peony sees very little of the outside world, and most of the book happens in just two very important homes. Even so, it offers an amazing insight towards the first women who ever had the option to make a choice in their lives. That choice might be small compared to today's life - is choosing to read so impressive? But in a world where women were not allowed most of what we now take for granted, choosing to read alarmed the government so much they passed laws that forbade most books written by women. The story in this book is half-true, half-fiction. It tells the story of how one of the most impressive women's commentary book was written - in a time when most of the women around the world had no knowledge of reading or writing. This story will make yourself wonder about the things we take for granted - be them basic skills like reading or writing, or be them awareness of one's emotions. If you're a woman, it will make you think twice about what you have while also giving you strength to go out there and get more from life!show more
by Alina Lavrig
I loved Snow Flower and the Secret Fan as it was so beautifully written. On my list of my top ten favourite books. This book, Peony in Love on the other hand was absolutely boring and I couldn't believe it was written by the same author. It may have been a good book if more editing had taken place. The story takes for ever to get anywhere. Only half way through the book do things things pick up but this only lasts for a chapter or two, before it goes back to being mind numbing. One of the most frustrating books I have ever read. Don't waste your time reading this more
by Anna Bochenek
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