Title: Secret of a Thousand Beauties
Author: Mingmei Yip
Format: Paperback, 320 pages
Pub. Date: November 25th 2014
Book Description via Goodreads:
"A unique and enthralling style…flawless." –Baltimore Books Examiner on The Nine Fold Heaven
"Surprising and often funny….Part epic, part coming-of-age story, part modern fairy tale." --Publishers Weekly on Song of the Silk Road
"A serious, engaging story of faith, devotion, and the commingling of cultures." –Booklist on Petals From the Sky
About the Author:
Mingmei Yip was born in China, received her Ph.D. from the University of Paris, Sorbonne, and held faculty appointments at the Chinese University and Baptist University in Hong Kong. She's published five books in Chinese, written several columns for seven major Hong Kong newspapers, and has appeared on over forty TV and radio programs in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, and the U.S. She immigrated to the United States in 1992, where she now lives in New York City.
This book is beautiful. It lingers with you even after you've finished, set it down, and walked away. In part this is because of the plot, in which the main character Spring Swallow escapes her fate as a ghost bride after her arranged-to-be-husband's demise. This sadness, this ghost haunts the overall tone of the book, giving each layer of beautiful prose a melancholy undertone. But this book also stays with you because of the rich detail that's put into the writing. Like Yip's other books, there's something almost song-like about the way this was written.
Secret of a Thousand Beauties is a book that comes off as well informed. I learned quite a fair bit about the art of embroidery in this book, which is something that I have no shame in saying that I knew absolutely nothing about. In addition, it blends this old tradition with the cultures of China. It was fascinating to read about their daily lives and traditions and customs as I navigated along Spring Swallow's journey.
It sucks you in from the beginning with its alluring use of language and the shroud of mystery that hangs over it all. The more you read, the more characters you meet who have secrets of their own. You cannot help but to continue to read in the hopes that you'll discover all of them, and what makes them act as they do.
I recommend this book to anyone who has an appreciation for art, historical settings, Chinese culture, or beautiful, poetic prose. Thank you to Mingmei Yip who gave me a copy of her book in exchange for my honest review.
a Rafflecopter giveaway