Peony in Love
by Lisa See
'I finally understand what the poets have written. In spring, moved to passion; in autumn only regret. Oh, will I ever see a man? How will love find me? Where can I reveal my true desires?' For young Peony, betrothed to a suitor she has never met, the lyrics from the opera, The Peony Pavilion, mirror her own longings. Like the heroine in the drama, Peony too is cloistered and from a wealthy family, trapped like a good-luck cricket in a bamboo-and-lacquer cage. Though raised to be obedient, Peony is a rebel, secure in her beauty but wise enough to know it is fleeting. As Lisa See's haunting new novel takes readers back to 17th century China, after the Manchus seize power and the Ming dynasty is crushed, we follow Peony's unforgettable journey of love and destiny, desire and sorrow. Steeped in traditions and ritual, this story brings to life another time and place, but the heart of the novel is Peony, who longs to direct her own life, figure out who she is, and search for a love that is visible, but just beyond reach.