Peony in Love: A Novel (Hardcover)
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Peony in Love: A Novel (Hardcover)

Edition 1
Overall Rating Rating 4.5  |  4 reviews  |  Write a review
Today $17.88
Item #: 10473816
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    “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 ......more

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“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.

Lisa See is the New York Times bestselling author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Flower Net (an Edgar Award nominee), 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. Visit the author’s website:
To schedule a speaking engagement, please contact American Program Bureau

See, Lisa
FICTION / Historical
Random House Inc
Publish Date:
Copyright Year:
9.5 in
6.5 in
0.75 in
Unit weight:
1.25 lb
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  • Historical novel and more

    Lisa See has the ability to open the door to Chinese civilization for the Western reader. Few of us have much knowledge of the Asian cultures, but See weaves wonderful tales that entertain as well as educate. Peony In Love is a love story that extends through generations and beyond the grave. It revolves around an opera called The Peony Pavilion and the many young Chinese girls who starved themselves to death from lovesickness. The intriguing thing about See's novel is that it is indeed based on fact. The Peony Pavilion was subsequently banished from China; it was forbidden, but yet it survived. It is a beautifully written story and has much to teach us, including the fact that things aren't always as they seem.

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  • Peony in Love

    This is a beautifully written novel. As with "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan", Lisa See tells a moving story while relating Chinese history and lore. I love this author! Her novels are great for a book club!


    jwmrd from Cleveland, Ohio, Nov 18, 2007

  • Very disappointing

    After reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, I expected to find this book just as absorbing and fascinating. I did not. Actually I was angry. I was not pleased with the story line expecially the main character. Very disappointed , although the writing actually was very good....and was iinformative, still I would not recommend it.


    nanamo42 from West Warwick, Sep 6, 2007

  • Great service and book

    I received my book within a week of ordering. It was packaged perfectly! I LOVED the book and would highly recommend it to others.


    crzwmn from FLorida, Aug 10, 2007

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