Peony in Love: A Novel Audiobook | Lisa See | Audible.com
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Peony in Love: A Novel | [Lisa See]

Peony in Love: A Novel

For young Peony, betrothed to a suitor she has never met, 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.
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Publisher's Summary

"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 novel, based on actual historical events, takes readers back to 17th-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, and 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.

©2007 Lisa See; (P)2007 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Peony's vibrant voice, perfectly pitched between the novel's historical and passionate depths, carries her story beautifully." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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    07-06-07
    07-06-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Peony in Love is odd"

    I really enjoyed Lisa See's ancestor's story of their arrival in California. So I was anxious to read her latest book, however, it isn't something I would recommend. Her obsession with the woman's plight in ancient China interferes with her ability to tell the story. I have stopped in part 4 and am not sure that I will finish it.

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Ann Brentwood, NY, USA 08-08-07
    Mary Ann Brentwood, NY, USA 08-08-07 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    "Wah wah wah"

    The story is just so repetitive and boring that I can't believe I managed to finish it. I figured out the big groom mystery right away. If you are expecting something as good as Memoirs of a Geisha, you will be very disappointed. Very little story, very much whining.

    4 of 9 people found this review helpful
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