and because I totally over-did it and Comments said I had more than 4,096 characters..........
Oooh! Look at all of these belated discussion comments!! So awesome. This book is a slow-cooker, I think.
So....it's been just long enough since I finished the book that I can't get into too much detail. I can't remember enough to defend myself. But, I will say; regarding the betrayal from Snow Flower to Lily, it wasn't even Snow Flower's betrayal to begin with. It was the matchmaker. And her parents. All of the grownups who KNEW what the deal was. Sure, after their friendship was developed and the girls were older, SF could have told her the real truth, but don't you imagine she was terrified that she'd lose her best friend? I'd be bold enough to suggest that we all have things that we hold secret from even our dearest and bestest friends, simply because we are either ashamed or because we just don't know how to share such painful details. Her family's situation, in that culture, was a massive blow to their social standing. Worse even than being married to a butcher. I just hate that Lily held SF so responsible for the deception. Being one who was so true to the traditions and 'rules' she might have been a little more compassionate. Wouldn't she have done the same? Did SF really have a choice? Lying is definitely contrary to the ten commandments, but I don't think in SF's position, it was despicable. How much control do any of us have over where we come from, the families we are attached to? I have to also say that I think it's an interesting perspective that all women during that time had the same personality type. Really? I mean....really? That can't be true in any culture, in any time period, in any situation. Books and movies and stories are quite often based on people in such difficult situations who break free of the stereotype and prove that despite their cultural responsibilities, they are still individual and unique. I also wanted to throw in my two cents about Lily's advice to SF. Was it unwanted? SF ate it all up. And wasn't Lily just saying what she knew to be the 'right' thing to say? She was shrewd enough to know that she had landed an honorable position as Lady Lu and she had a namesake to uphold, a responsibility.
I certainly agree that bed business in front of everyone by the fire was GROSS. But the man beat her fhs! If you were married to a man who beat you...and he wanted to get it on by the fire - would you choose the risk of public awareness of your bed business or take a beating? I'm just sayin.' We really didn't get much of SF's perspective and maybe there was more going on there than Lily was aware of.
Having been someone who was ridiculed, teased, ostracized and punished for family dynamics I couldn't control, for personality traits I had simply been born with and for behavior that resulted from abuse I not only couldn't have avoided nor did I entirely understand (sorry...tmi. Plus, I don't think this makes me special btw. I think everyone deals with this stuff)- and having been in the position of being dumped from a friendship because I needed to honor my cultural and deep-seated beliefs, as well as having to end a friendship for the same reasons - I felt pretty affected by this story. I think friendships that can withstand all of those things are quite remarkable. And not just an event or something, but a lifetime of growth, changes, discovery, mistakes. Perhaps that's why I think it's a miracle that my husband loves me. Despite me.
Most of all, I'm glad to see some passion coming out of you guys after this book. It was a strong topic. I apologize if it was too much for the middle of the summer. I also think it's very commendable that we can all say what we want to say in this nu shu - ish forum. It would be quite easy to misinterpret tone and meaning without hearing the tone or seeing the body language associated with it. Of course, I'm really just stating the obvious. Now if y'all don't mind, I'm going to finish plugging through Eat Pray Love and move on to rereading Hunger Games. I've got a cake to plan. Bring it on people. Bring. It. On.