PEONY IN LOVE
New York : Random House, 2007
died in the seventh hour on the seventh day of the twelfth month in the
third year of Emperor Kangxi's reign. I was just five days from my
wedding." This is the story of a young girl living in seventeenth
century China. The idea of marrying a stranger that her parents have
chosen for her is something that she as an obedient child is compelled
to honor...that is until a chance encounter with a stranger changes the
course of her life. She can no longer stand the idea of marrying
a person she has never met and doesn't even know; instead she becomes obsessed
with a classical opera entitled The Peony Pavilion. She stops eating
and writes poetry to express her innermost feelings and frustrations.
It is not until she is ready to die that she discovers the chosen man her
parents had selected for her to marry is non other than the stranger of
her chance encounter. Too late she dies.
During the burial rites her family's grief prevents her ancestor tablet from being properly dotted, and she ends up roaming the earth as a hungry ghost haunting the man she was to marry and his new wife. It is not until she learns compassion and how to help others that those still living discover that her ancestor tablet has never been dotted. Once discovered, her tablet is immediately dotted and she is no longer a ghost. One part of her soul finds its proper place in the tablet and the other half is now free to continue on to the afterworld. More than just a love story, this book takes the reader inside the Chinese culture of the seventeenth century and explains what it was like to be a girl and a woman from that period. (Ramona Loynd, Loyndrg@aol.com, teacher)
Women -- China -- Fiction.
Opera -- Fiction.
China -- History -- Fiction.