Book Review

by Mingmei Yip

Genre: Mainstream, General Mainstream Fiction

RT Rating

Yip's English-language debut is beautiful and evocative. The relationships between her characters are real and heart-wrenching. Though the West's recent fascination with the Chinese "flower houses" has led to a plethora of books along these lines, this particular one is rendered insightfully and memorably. The novel is flawed slightly by the overuse of stereotypes in its modern scenes, however.

Xiang Xiang's father
is wrongfully executed and her
mother forced to become a Buddhist nun. Instead of being taken to a
rich man's mansion to work as a
maid, she is tricked into entering
the Peach Blossom Pavilion, a house
for prestigious prostitutes, or "book chamber ladies."

Her adventures in the Peach
Blossom Pavilion lead to treasured friendships, love, riches, poverty
and revenge. With her trade name
of Precious Orchid, Xiang Xiang
makes her way all the way across China and, eventually, to the United States. (Kensington, Jun., 421 pp., $14.00)

Reviewed By: Victoria Frerichs

Publisher: Kensington

Published: June 2008

Reader Rating

4.5 Stars

Average Rating: 4.5 Stars
(1 ratings)

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