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Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

By Lisa See

Lily is the daughter of a humble farmer and to her family she is just another expensive mouth to feed. Then the local matchmaker delivers startling news: if Lily’s feet are bound properly, they will be flawless.

In 19th century China, where a woman’s eligibility is judged by the shape and size of her feet, this is extraordinary good luck. Lily now has the power to make a good marriage and change the fortunes of her family.

To prepare for her new life, she must undergo the agonies of foot binding, learn nu shu, the famed secret women’s writing and make a very special friend, Snow Flower. However, the bitter reversal of fortune that follows turns their worlds upside down.

This is a beautifully written novel, depicting a real and secret world that has only just disappeared.

Available in paperback at 12.50 euros