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Sunday Scoop

Secret of a Thousand Beauties

By Mingmei Yip


Greetings everyone!! I hope that you had a great Christmas. It will soon be a whole new year!! It is time to roll out those New Year’s resolutions again. LOL. I have been busy watching the Tudors on my new Kindle Fire from the hubby!! Today’s book is a recent Asian fiction release.

This is another e-galley from the good folks at Netgalley. I was given this in exchange for a fair and honest review. This was released in November of 2014. Mingmei Yip has written other novels. I think that I may have read a couple of them, I don’t remember.

Set against the vibrant and intrigue-laden backdrop of 1930s China, Mingmei Yip’s enthralling novel explores one woman’s defiant pursuit of independence.

Spring Swallow was promised in marriage while still in her mother’s belly. When the groom dies before a wedding can take place, seventeen-year-old Spring Swallow is ordered to become a ghost bride to appease his spirit. Under her in-laws’ protection, she will be little more than a servant, unable to know real love or bear children. Refusing to accept her fate as a “bad-luck woman,” Spring Swallow flees on her wedding day.

In the city of Soochow, Spring Swallow joins a community of renowned embroiderers. The women work for Aunty Peony, whose exquisite stitching once earned her the Emperor’s love. But when Aunty Peony agrees to replicate a famous painting–a lucrative assignment that will take a year to complete–betrayal and jealousy emerges within the group. Spring Swallow becomes entangled in each woman’s story of heartbreak, even while she embarks on a dangerous affair with a young revolutionary. On a journey that leads from the remote hillsides around Soochow to cosmopolitan Peking, Spring Swallow draws on the secret techniques learned from Aunty Peony and her own indomitable strength, determined to forge a life that is truly her own.

Another book about the strange tradition of the Chinese ghost marriage. Spring Swallow is a strong young woman finding her way in 1930’s China. Her mysterious embroidery teacher has a past full of secrets and she is cold and devious. Spring Swallow leaves messages on the side of the mountain for her lover who is in great danger because he is a revolutionary. I liked the parts about the history of embroidery. I felt that the book was a little slow in a couple of places. I felt like I was with Spring Swallow through out her struggles. I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.


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