I am writing my thoughts about the book that left a great impression on me and I know my words will be read by others. I owe the freedom to do so to my sisters from the 17th Century China, and especially to the three wives of a poet, to the three courageous souls who wrote and published the first ever book by women.
“Peony in Love” is a story of WOMEN as they were before feminism stepped in. They were wives and mothers and lovers and poets; devoted to their husbands and called to serve them above all; educated for the sake of holding an intelligent conversation and being “mates” to their men and mothers in law. It is a story of a young girl’s quest for love and freedom of sharing her word with others. Young Peony dies when waiting for an arranged marriage, writing down the commentary of her beloved book, “The Peony Pavilion”. Upon death, she becomes a “hungry ghost” tortured with love, unable to proceed to the after-world due to the un-dotted tablet, eager to make her poet Wu Ren happy and fulfilled with the best wife that she tries and succeeds, after all, to “create” and guide for him. And Peony is also so eager to finish her work, her commentary, in hopes that Wu Ren hears her through the words, written by her at the age of 16, and later finished by his two other wives.
To not retell the story, masterfully woven by Lisa See in delicate word-brushes of pink and purple and yellow words, just like the most delicate Chinese silk and other books by this outstanding writer, I say that this book is much more than a tale of love. It is a story of growing as a woman and growing as a generation of women; a story of devotion to your man and a story about the importance of all types of love: romantic, sexual, soul to soul connection, mother love, daughter love; the story of strong women who seem to be so fragile and peony-like, swaying on their lily-feet. The story that one does need all bravery to do what her heart tells her do, and the story of a brave and pure heart.
OMG. It is clearly the most profound (and short!!!!!!!!!!) help-offering title in my library-EVER!!!!!! I absolutely love it and will be listening to and taking notes, and trying to implement it into my life over and over and over again. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Thank you, Janet Connor, for the recommendation!!!
There are many things a human being should already raise above, thinking of how we pride ourselves on our many achievements. I guess, I am not too kin of evolutionary psychology, which has a perfect excuse for just about any amoral behavior, as well as a vaguely noble explanation for all the positive traits. The spiritual being in me inclines to believe, that we have moral standards because a part of us, that tiny, yet undiscovered by the science particle of the SOUL, is connected by the source of knowledge and infinity far greater than we can ever imagine? while being caught in the physical realm. May be I should try to listen to the audio-book once again, because, honestly, I skipped a few chapters, finding them somewhat boring and repeating what had already been explained. But then, I was never good in science.
It's a pretty cute, entertaining audio-book. While it does contains seeds of practical advice, it seemed to be more inspirational and encouraging to me than anything else. A nice listen for when you are tired of writing and want to know you are not alone.
Change the story in your head and stop believing all the lies you have told yourself, and other people have told you. Believe in light and love and kindness; pray to be shown the way. A very inspirational book!!!
Perhaps, I had wrong expectations. But there were many times I wanted to drop the book and find something more engaging, curious and uplifting to listen to. I have not read the praised "Middlesex" by the same author, so I cannot blame his style - yet! :)
Loved the language, the narrator, the story and the characters. I am going to listen to this book once again, I loved it so much!
Insights onto the lives of Chinese in the USA. Detailed research. A fascinating story of a family tree. But I really missed Lisa See's enchanting language which she is so good with! Of course, one has to remember that this is more like a documentary work of literature, not a novel.
Sad, disturbing, borderline scary. What would I do?... But we human can adjust to just about anything... and there will always be love and the quest for belonging, for a touch and for an identity. Great, thought-provoking book. I wish the ending was more revealing...
A simple, honorable life of living the gift and the dream. I so wish Charlotte lived a long life: for her newly found happiness, for her devoted husband, for her five deceased siblings, for her old father and for us, enchanted readers of her masterfully written books.
I am off to listen to "Shirley", the book everyone in the family admired and laughed at, as read in Charlotte's diary.
The idea is cute, but the story is too long and filled with plenty of unnecessary details. I liked both Diana and Matthew, but they never fully come to life for me. The ending is abrupt though the story was dragging itself for about 20 hours... But it looks like it's the first book in the series. I doubt I will listen to the following books, though I wish the heroes the best on their journey and the quest for the right to love freely.
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