|About the Book|
Simply written but very nice story of a young woman in China who, against centuries-old tradition, wants to get out of an arranged marriage made by her parents and neighbors when she and her to-be were infants. It earns four stars for me because the author obviously understands the Chinese culture and includes it throughout the book. The culture and relationships of the characters are my favorite part of the book.Indeed, it is the culture and centuries-old traditions that form the basis of the story, and the author informs you about it without lecturing. You discover for yourself how disgraceful it is—both for you and for them—to disobey your parents. The nature of school, with the boys and girls taught separately, the boys taught by men and the girls taught by unmarried women. The idea that only women who are not married can teach (similar to bygone laws of ours). My favorite bit of culture that the author included is that of the Chinese culture of decorum: there is no physical contact between a man and woman in public, whether or not they are married. So there are scenes where the characters sit together or walk together, traditionally with a chaperone, and talk. Which are lovely scenes in themselves, as they remind me of some Chinese movies Ive seen which help you realize that romance does exist before a kiss.