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Peony in Love

Peony in Love

by Lisa See

I'd read Snowflower and the Secret Fan a few years ago, and so wasn't expecting the mystery/legend/ghost story aspect that is central to the plot of Peony in Love. The book's opening centers on a young girl approaching her 16th birthday and her betrothal to a man that she has never met. In her honor, her father commissions an opera company to perform a mythic opera, the Peony Pavillion, about a goddess and man who fall in love and search for each other. Peony, the protagonist of the current story, becomes obsessed with the opera, the heroine, and understanding love. I felt like I learned a lot about the structure of Chinese society ,and the place of the family, and the role of daughters within the family, in reading it. I may not have traveled to 16th C. China, but Lisa See definitely transported me back into Chinese history through her telling of Peony's story. -- Added by EmilyRS on 07/19/2014