It’s going to be a humid day, but so far it’s bearable, so I’ve got a steaming cup of tea as I write this incredibly short post. And sorry, I messed up the text background and have too much reading to do to waste any more time trying to fix it.
I’ve been trying to get through as many Silver Birch books as possible since it’s “crunch time” - my list of nominee choices is due to the committee in less than 3 weeks! But I also have book club meetings and have to read those books, too. So last weekend I read Lisa See’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan for my Friends’ Book Club meeting on Monday night, and I enjoyed it as much as the first time I read it a number of years ago. This novel, set in 1820s rural China, tells the story of two girls from different backgrounds who are paired up as laotongs, or “old sames”, but who, due to class and circumstances, cannot continue visiting in person. They manage to remain in contact using Nu shu, a special language used exclusively by women in the Hunan Province of Southern China, but a misunderstanding causes their friendship to end, with disastrous results. This book was fairly short, and I guess since I’ve read it before, I knew what to expect, but for my other book club members, I think it was quite shocking, as it detailed the process mothers used for binding their daughters’ feet (at age six or seven!!), as well as the roles (and limitations) of women during this period in Chinese history. It sparked a great discussion about the roles of women globally over the last couple of centuries, and we wondered where things might be headed in the future. We also discussed restrictive clothing and fashion items in history (corsets, high heels, etc). It was a good discussion, with most people saying that this book was a real eye-opener, as they knew foot binding happened, but they didn’t know much about it or really understand the full implications of this ritual.
That’s all for today. Stay cool and keep reading!
Bye for now... Julie