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Join Julia and the North Adams Library Adult Book Club on Thursday, July 26 at 5:30 p.m. to discuss Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. Borrow a copy in advance at the library desk, and read along with us.
Lily is haunted by memories of who she once was, and of a person, long gone, who defined her existence. She has nothing but time now, as she recounts the tale of Snow Flower, and asks the gods for forgiveness.
In nineteenth-century China, when wives and daughters were foot-bound and lived in almost total seclusion, the women in one remote Hunan county developed their own secret code for communication: nu shu ( women’s writing ). Some girls were paired with laotongs, old sames, in emotional matches that lasted throughout their lives. They painted letters on fans, embroidered messages on handkerchiefs, and composed stories, thereby reaching out of their isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments.
With the arrival of a silk fan on which Snow Flower has composed for Lily a poem of introduction in nu shu, their friendship is sealed and they become old sames at the tender age of seven. As the years pass, through famine and rebellion, they reflect upon their arranged marriages, loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their lifelong friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart.
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a brilliantly realistic journey back to an era of Chinese history that is as deeply moving as it is sorrowful. With the period detail and deep resonance of Memoirs of a Geisha, this lyrical and emotionally charged novel delves into one of the most mysterious of human relationships: female friendship.
North Adams Library Book Club
Join the North Adams Library’s adult book club. We meet on the last Thursday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at the North Adams Library. Pick up a copy of each month’s book in advance at the library desk. Ask about large print or audio book copies. Browse the 2018 reading list below. Each month, we’ll discuss the book of the month, share thoughts, and moderator Julia will share quizzes, prizes, and snacks. For more information, call Julia at 937-386-2556.
Bibliophiles Peebles Library Book Club
Join the Peebles Library Book Club, “The Bibliophiles,” on the third Monday of each month at 4:00 p.m. at the Peebles Library. Each fall, we’ll vote on a reading list for the coming year. Everyone is welcome to join us! For more information call Nick Slone at 937-587-2085. Browse reviews and summaries, and find these titles in our Catalog. Pick up a copy of next month’s title at the Peebles Library.