Sample

Prime logo Prime members: New to Audible?
Get 2 free audiobooks during trial.
Pick 1 audiobook a month from our unmatched collection.
Listen all you want to thousands of included audiobooks, Originals, and podcasts.
Access exclusive sales and deals.
Premium Plus auto-renews for $14.95/mo after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Lady Tan's Circle of Women  By  cover art

Lady Tan's Circle of Women

By: Lisa See
Narrated by: Jennifer Lim, Justin Chien
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $22.49

Buy for $22.49

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.
activate_primeday_promo_in_buybox_DT

Publisher's summary

*NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!*

From “one of those special writers capable of delivering both poetry and plot” (The New York Times Book Review) an immersive historical novel inspired by the true story of a woman physician in 15th-century China—perfect for fans of Lisa See’s classics Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane.

According to Confucius, “an educated woman is a worthless woman,” but Tan Yunxian—born into an elite family, yet haunted by death, separations, and loneliness—is being raised by her grandparents to be of use. Her grandmother is one of only a handful of female doctors in China, and she teaches Yunxian the pillars of Chinese medicine, the Four Examinations—looking, listening, touching, and asking—something a man can never do with a female patient.

From a young age, Yunxian learns about women’s illnesses, many of which relate to childbearing, alongside a young midwife-in-training, Meiling. The two girls find fast friendship and a mutual purpose—despite the prohibition that a doctor should never touch blood while a midwife comes in frequent contact with it—and they vow to be forever friends, sharing in each other’s joys and struggles. No mud, no lotus, they tell themselves: from adversity beauty can bloom.

But when Yunxian is sent into an arranged marriage, her mother-in-law forbids her from seeing Meiling and from helping the women and girls in the household. Yunxian is to act like a proper wife—embroider bound-foot slippers, recite poetry, give birth to sons, and stay forever within the walls of the family compound, the Garden of Fragrant Delights.

How might a woman like Yunxian break free of these traditions and lead a life of such importance that many of her remedies are still used five centuries later? How might the power of friendship support or complicate these efforts? A captivating story of women helping each other, Lady Tan’s Circle of Women is a triumphant reimagining of the life of one person who was remarkable in the Ming dynasty and would be considered remarkable today.

©2022 Lisa See. All rights reserved. (P)2023 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved

Editorial Review

The art of medicine and storytelling
The inspiration for this story came from a book that author Lisa See had in her library, written by a woman physician, Tan Yunxian, who lived during the Ming Dynasty in 15th century China. See’s extensive research combined with her signature storytelling skills results in a captivating and immersive fictional retelling—beautifully performed by Jennifer Lim and Justin Chien. With strong parallels to women’s struggles in 2023, this is a story that celebrates the unconditional support found in the “circle of women” and a fascinating study of Chinese medicine and culture. —Tricia F., Audible Editor