Title: The Ghost Bride
Author: Yangze Choo
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The bottom line: Choo's debut novel has something for everyone--ghosts, demons, the afterlife, magic, and secrets--in short, I absolutely loved this novel! An amazing, beautiful triumph of a novel!
This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Li Lan is approached with an unusual proposition: her father asks her if she would like to become a ghost bride to a recently deceased son of a local, wealthy family. To do so would mean that she would be taken care of for the rest of her life. Soon Li Lan is haunted by terrifying dreams of Lim Tian Ching, and in a fit of depression and a frightening accident, she finds herself trapped in the spirit world.. And she doesn't know if she'll ever make it back to her family..
What I enjoyed:
-The haunting, lyrical prose that drew me in immediately--Li Lan's narrative was lush, descriptive, and beautiful
-The lush, beautiful, absolutely captivating setting of 1893 Malaya, gorgeous and so real I even found myself dreaming about it when I put the book down
-Li Lan herself, a strong main character, going to almost desperate lengths to save herself from her fate, and her character development was wonderful!
-I really enjoyed the scenes in The Plains of the Dead as well, and in Li Lan's dreams--at times it reminded me of Spirited Away
-Er Lang in particular--he was a real favorite of mine
-The hilarious, layered cast of characters in Li Lan's house, particularly Amah
-The ending of the novel was perfect--it really did justice to all of the characters
What could've been better:
-There was nothing I didn't love about this beautiful debut novel--I'm so glad that I read it!
I really, really liked The Ghost Bride--anyone looking for a good novel on Chinese culture should pick it up! Next on deck: The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession by Charlie Lovett!