At the age of seven, young Lily is paired with a laotong ( an "old same" or a lifelong friend) named Snow Flower. They write each other messages on silk fan and handkerchiefs in nu shu (the secret language of women) and go on trips into town together. For young and poor Lily, these trips are amazing. Lily and Snow Flower can tell each other anything, and always find consolation in each other. As the grow, they experience footbinding, arranged marriages and motherhood together, loneliness never a problem when they are with the other. Lily and Snow Flower form an inseparable bond that sustains their souls through the trials of life as a woman in China. But a misconception comes in between them and Snow Flower and Lily's life long friendship begins to rip apart.
This book was incredible. The writing was gorgeous and the story was beautiful. The characters were very well developed and real. By reading this book you really learn to understand the Chinese culture, and what it was like to be a woman in that particular time period; spending all day in the woman's room, weaving, embroidering, sewing, washing, cooking and footbinding their daughters. Learning about footbinding was very interesting, too.
After I finished the book, I found an article about footbinding and an old lady who has her feet bound ( Find the article here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=8966942 ) and found it helpful knowing a bit more about this tradition, so I would read this before reading the book.
If you read it, I really hope that you enjoy it as much as I did! I also look froward to seeing you on Monday!