Saturday, January 31, 2015

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Secret of a Thousand Beauties, by Mingmei Yip, ends 2/6

It was my wedding day.

I was horrified.

Because my soon-to-be-lawful - and awful - husband was not even a man.

He was a ghost.

This novel was very interesting, in that it's historical fiction - it takes place in 1930s China - but it's set against the backdrop of some real events. Spring Swallow ends up leading a crazy life, and it would definitely be interesting to see this novel turned into a movie.

Official synopsis:
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.

Spring Swallow really does NOT want to be wed to a ghost - the groom died before even being born, but because she was promised to him when they were both in their mothers' bellies, she still has to marry him - and she flees her hometown. She lands in Soochow and is lucky to be taken in as an embroider apprentice of sorts, where she refines her embroidering skills.

The girls under Aunty Peony's care are supposed to be celibate, as well, but Spring Swallow soon meets a man that might change her mind about being celibate.

I like historical novels and I found this one to be very interesting. Just when you think Spring Swallow might settle down and find happiness, another major thing happens in her life, and I was curious to see what would happen to her next. I could definitely see this as a movie, too, as the plot is very intricate with a lot of action happening throughout

4 stars out of 5.

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this novel for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

(I think this is a fan-made trailer - but it still gives you a good idea of what the book is about)


One of my lucky readers will win a paperback copy of this novel! 

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Friday, February 6th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified via email the next day and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!



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