❮Reading❯ ➶ The Ghost Bride Author Yangsze Choo – Transportjobsite.co.uk

❮Reading❯ ➶ The Ghost Bride Author Yangsze Choo – Transportjobsite.co.uk chapter 1 The Ghost Bride, meaning The Ghost Bride, genre The Ghost Bride, book cover The Ghost Bride, flies The Ghost Bride, The Ghost Bride 491357e1117e4 Seventeen Year Old Li Lan Lives In S Malaya With Her Quietly Ruined Father, Who Returns One Evening With A Proposition The Fabulously Wealthy Lim Family Want Li Lan To Marry Their Son The Only Problem Is, He S Dead After A Fateful Visit To The Lim Mansion, Li Lan Finds Herself Haunted Not Only By Her Ghostly Would Be Suitor, But Also Her Desire For The Lims Handsome New Heir At Night She Is Drawn Into The Chinese Afterlife A World Of Ghost Cities, Paper Funeral Offerings, Monstrous Bureaucracy And Vengeful Spirits Enlisting The Help Of Mysterious Er Lang A Dragon Turned Clerk Li Lan Must Uncover The Secrets Of The Ghost World Before She Becomes Trapped There ForeverDrawing On Traditional Malayan Folklore And Superstition, THE GHOST BRIDE Is A Haunting, Exotic And Romantic Read Perfect For Fans Of EMPRESS ORCHID And MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA

10 thoughts on “The Ghost Bride

  1. says:

    Before I start the book review, I d like to bring you all to hell.The Chinese Ten Courts of Hell, that is.This particular hell is located at Haw Par Villa, Singapore I first entered its dark depths in August 2006, and remember recoiling in horror when I saw a few bloody scenes you can view here.So what are the Ten Courts of Hell According to Chinese mythology, souls must enter these courts to be judged for the sins they committed in the land of the living Each court deals with different sins and punishments, and it s only after an offending soul suffers for its crimes examples of punishments include being thrown on spikes, boiled in oil, or sawed in half that it can be reincarnated or sent to paradise.That first visit to the Ten Courts of Hell truly sparked my interest in anything and everything related to the Chinese afterlife I started paying attention to Qingming the Tomb Sweeping Festival and the idea of hungry ghosts, and was especially fascinated by the concept of ghost marriages after my aunty told me this sad and spooky story back in the sixties, her classmate s fianc died in a car crash Unable to accept his demise, the girl married her deceased lover after his funeral I obsessed over that story for days, wondering how it was possible and whether my aunty s classmate would be able to divorce her husband if she fell in love again.So, with my interest in all things spooky, you can imagine my excitement when I heard about THE GHOST BRIDE by Malaysian debut author Yangsze Choo HarperCollins, August 2013 Set in Malacca, Malaya what is now Melaka, Malaysia in 1893 during British rule, the novel is about a young Straits Chinese girl named Li Lan who has lost her mother to mysterious circumstances and her father to his opium addiction One day, her father asks if she would consider marrying Lim Tian Ching, the son of a wealthy family There s only one little problem he s as dead as my aunty s classmate s ghost husband.Li Lan is understandably horrified at the thought of tying herself to a dead man she barely knew, especially someone as repugnant as Lim Tian Ching As he forces himself into her dreams, Li Lan is pulled deeper into the mystery of why this dead boy wants her and only her as his wife To complicate things, she feels a growing attraction to the dead boy s very much alive cousin, who is now the wealthy family s heir And if being haunted by one ghost isn t bad enough, she soon finds herself trapped in their world Time is running out as she desperately tries to uncover dark secrets and fight her way back to the land of the living.As a Malaysian, it felt like Choo was writing a personal story just for me The sprinkling of Malay vocabulary felt like delicious candy in my mouth I read them aloud and though set than a hundred years ago, I could picture it all in my head the old Melaka streets, the Stadthuys in the town square which I visited last September , the splendor of a grand Peranakan mansion But Choo doesn t leave Western readers in the dark she gently explains things for those unfamiliar with this part of the world, and when the narrative moves to a location that is alien to everyone the Plains of the Dead Choo s evocative descriptions still pulled me in and sent shivers down my back I kept thinking of the Ten Courts of Hell pictured above Though no part of the novel actually takes place in these courts, they are often alluded to by the lingering ghosts we encounter along the way, always with a sense of fear.As much as I loved the Malacca setting and the spooky world Choo built, characters are what make me fall in love with a book, and here Choo succeeds as well I grew attached to Li Lan, a young girl still finding her way in life, and loved the people rallying around her such as her spunky Amah, and Old Wong with his special vision I appreciated that there wasn t really a clear divide between good and evil, because two of the villains were ultimately flawed characters I felt sorry for.THE GHOST BRIDE is great value for money you get historical fiction, YA, fantasy, suspense, paranormal and multicultural fiction all in one I am so glad there is a voice like Yangsze Choo s out there, proving that writers of Malaysian descent can make it in the Western publishing world with genre bending narratives.

  2. says:

    It seemed to me that in this confluence of cultures, we had acquired one another s superstitions without necessarily any of their comforts. The star of this book is not Li Lan It is not her book the focal point is not the very mild romance, it is not the mystery The overwhelming show stealer is the setting, the background, the history, the superstition and traditional beliefs of turn of the century Malaya.I am Asian myself and I maintain my love of Asian culture despite having immigrated to the United States I know a lot about the region and its history for me, this book feels like going home It is my equivalent of chicken soup or rather, in the context of the book, herbal chicken soup and cordyceps for stamina The setting is spectacularly beautiful, and so achingly familiar.This is Malaya, or as we know it now, Malaysia The port city is Malacca The year is 1893 The history of the area is so interesting, and is the very definition of intermingling I loved the amalgamation of cultures, of beliefs, of nationalities The vivid setting and the descriptions of the setting and atmosphere are nothing short of spectacular Every aspect of life in Malaya is cultivated from a mixture of the numerous cultures that form the heterogeneous society of this vibrant port city Women s clothing vary from the Chinese cheong sam to the lower class sam foo, to traditional Chinese formal wear, to the Indonesian baju panjang and kebaya The food are mouth wateringly portrayed, from a different mix of nationalities and their respective cooking traditions, and there are so many instances of it Even if you do not start out hungry, you will end up starving by the time you finish this book They had all my favorite kinds of kuih the soft steamed nyonya cakes made of glutinous rice flour stuffed with palm sugar or shredded coconut There were delicate rolled biscuits called love letters and pineapple tarts pressed out of rich pastry Bowls of toasted watermelon seeds were passed around, along with fanned slices of mango and papaya. The author is of Malaysian descent, and her portrayal of the country shows her in depth knowledge of Malaysia and its wonderfully rich history It also shows clearly and understandably, her love for it I also grew to love the setting and the country as if it were my own It is beautifully portrayed, with tremendous respect for all the cultures and social classes represented For me, the true star of the book is its setting, both of it The real world, and the ghostly one The superstitions, myths, legends, all are wonderfully told and portrayed I had seen some of the painted hell scrolls that depicted the gruesome fates awaiting sinners There were people being boiled in oil or sawed in half by horse and ox headed demons Others were forced to climb mountains of knives or were pounded into powder by enormous mallets Gossips had their tongues ripped out, hypocrites and tomb robbers were disemboweled Unfilial children were frozen in ice The worst was the lake of blood into which suicides and women who had died in childbirth or aborted their children were consigned. I was utterly immersed and fascinated by the setting, and it feels so satisfying to read about something about which I m familiar This book would be even fascinating to someone without a deep understanding of the culture There is so much to be learned, so much to be gleaned from within this beautifully written book.Li Lan is a beautiful 17 year old girl, hidden away during the most important years of her life As a young woman of the upper class, from a good, old family, Li Lan should be out socializing and being seen and known by the other well known good Chinese families in the area Instead, she is languishing away in her family s grand, ancient, crumbling mansion, with a mentally absent, opium addicted, wasted shadow of a father and only her loving, ancient Amah for company It is a life of genteel poverty, and one from which Li Lan is not likely to escape anytime soon My father s withdrawal from the world meant that he had sought out no friends with sons and had arranged no match for me For the first time I began to fully comprehend why Amah was continually angry with him on this subject The contrast between the realization of his neglect and the fondness I had for my father was painful I had few marriage prospects, and would be doomed to the half life of spinsterhood Without a husband, I would sink further into genteel poverty, bereft of even the comfort and respect of being a mother Her father is not a despicable character, despite his faults Formerly a wealthy merchant and a scholar, he now isolates himself from the world with the help of the opium pipe Li Lan s father s story is a sad one, and even though he truly is a negligent father, I cannot despise him as a character I find him tragic, but never reprehensible.One day, Li Lan s father casually mentions that the very wealthy Lim family is interested in Li Lan as a potential bride for their son There s just one caveat The son is dead Li Lan would be his ghost bride wedded to his spirit though he is dead and she very much living my father said, What, you don t want to be a widow at almost eighteen Spend your life in the Lim mansion wearing silk But you probably wouldn t be allowed any bright colors He broke into his melancholy smile Of course I didn t accept How would I dare Though if you didn t care for love or children, it might not be so bad You would be housed and clothed all the days of your life Her father never pressures her into this decision He knows his faults, he regrets it, but like an addict, he cannot change his ways Regardless, he still loves his daughter, he respects her decisionhis daughter is a constant reminder to him of his much beloved wife, whom he has long lost.Li Lan gets invited to the Lim household, and sees the tempting glimpse of the lifestyle that she could have She also sees and falls in love with someone whom she cannot have the heir to be, the cousin of the deceased, Tian Bai The we find out about Tian Bai and Li Lan, the tragic Li Lan s situation becomes There is such terrible irony in the situation More troublesome than the man Li Lan cannot have, is the dead man who wants her Li Lan is haunted by the spirit of Tian Ching, her proposed ghost husband He is a bumbling figure who becomes chillingly sadistic in how he comes to haunt Li Lan every night.I absolutely loved Li Lan s nightmares, and how they slowly come to overshadow Li Lan s life The dreams are gorgeously portrayed, they felt realistic to me than many of the dreams about which I ve read in other books they feel like dreams I ve had, nightmares I ve had that have scared me They are just detailed enough and vague enough for me to feel, as a reader, that they could be real I felt Li Lan s terror as Tian Chiang becomes a darker character, childlike in his aggression, in his singleminded attitude of wanting what he cannot have Despite my terror, I felt a slow burning in my stomach Why should I be married to this autocratic buffoon, alive or dead I don t think so What I said, I don t think so I don t want to marry you Lim Tian Ching s eyes narrowed into slits Despite my bold words, my heart quailed You don t have a choice in this matter I ll ruin your father Then I ll become a nun You don t know the extent of my influence I ll haunt you I ll haunt your father I ll haunt that meddling amah of yours He was raging now The border officials are on my side, and they said I have a right to you Well, you are dead Dead, dead, dead I shrieked. His threats are not empty promises Tian Chiang s influence seemingly reaches beyond the afterlife and Li Lan s dreams He torments and terrorizes her to such an extent that her spirit dissipatesshe is turned into a shadow, a living ghost Forced into the parallel ghostly underworld, Li Lan has to solve a number of mysteries and make some questionable alliances in order to return to the world of the living.Here is where the book weakens There is just so much going on within it The plot moves along at a slow pace, a reasonable one, but there are so many mysteries and so many plot lines that it is difficult for me to keep things straight.For example, in the living world, we have the mystery of Tian Chiang s death, the mystery surrounding Tian Bai, Li Lan s illness and its relation to the haunting, her father s secrecy, the mysterious behaviors of the people in the Lim family, the mysterious character that she encounters at the medium In the underworld, we have still mysteries, still secret plots, still family mysteries to be untangled There are ghosts, demons, long dead relatives, officials of the Courts of Hell, the mystery of bribery and the border officials And that s not to mention where things intersect.Oy vey There is a lot of plot going on here, and it oftentimes made my head spin It was also really confusing in some parts, largely because so much of the book is based in a ghostly parallel world and within dreams At times, it was hard for me to tell what is actually real, and what is taking place within a dream which is also real, but justin a dream Confusing, yes Some parts of the book seemed largely extraneous, some people and certain interactions did not contribute much to the plot movement, and it bored me at some points.The characters are very much present, and not unlikeable, but largely lacking in color and in life compared to the setting itself Li Lan is a sympathetic character, and very much likeable she is very sheltered, very innocent, but never acts stupid to the point where I was frustrated with her actions I felt her frustrations at times, Malaya is not traditionally Chinese, and women are given a lot freedom than those in mainland China Despite the fact, Li Lan is still helpless and confined in so many ways, and I understood her frustration for the helplessness of her fate What was happening out in the world of men Had Tian Bai talked to his uncle again What were we to do with our debts How I wished I could go out and make inquiries by myself If only I had a brother or a cousin to rely on Despite the fact that my feet were not bound, I was confined to domestic quarters as though a rope tethered my ankle to our front door. Despite all this, I cannot really relate to her as a character, however sympathetic I am to her plight She is a very small fish in a very large pond, and I can t help but feel that she lacks life No pun intended.The romance is very, very light here However much she swoons over Tian Bai, it never feels like love Tian Bai is a nice guy, he really is He is, however, completely lacking in personality I hate to say it, but he has no character that I can discern He s the boy next door, who has yet to mature into someone interesting Li Lan s love for him doesn t feel like love so much as a very sheltered schoolgirl s infatuation with the very first eligible boy she meetsand he truly is It s not as if Li Lan has had a chance to interact with many guys before, really, none at all Her obsession with him, her despair over their forbidden love situation just makes me want to roll my eyes and scoff Teenagers Warning there is a love triangle within this book It s wonderful Spectacular Nope Please You guys know me and my feelings about love triangles It s forced, it feels unnatural, and it is so very predictable and strange, considering the situations in which Li Lan and the third wheel interact From the very first moment Li Lan sets eyes on the mysterious stranger, I sighed to myself Here we go again, and I was right It wasn t really annoying, because the romance in this book is so light as to be almost nonexistent As I said before, the star of the book is the setting, the romance and the characters are but the means to the end of the mystery.In summation this is a beautifully written book, with a wonderfully built atmosphere, bogged down somewhat by rather bland side characters The plot is interesting, but is too slow at times, and is rendered confusing by the inclusion of dream sequences Still, it comes highly recommended by me for anyone seeking a fascinating read It is certainly one of the best books I ve read this year in terms of historical and cultural accuracy, and the pure beauty of the writing.

  3. says:

    Imagine having to marry a deceased bridegroom Yes, you read that correctly Although uncommon, this was the practice among some folk lore practicing Chinese and is the ill fate of Li Lan , a young woman in 19th century Malyasia in The Ghost Bride by Yangzse Choo Despite some beautiful imagery and scene settings, The Ghost Bride is painfully slow Even though it has the calming zen like presence common to most Asian historical fiction novels the plot is halted, as well Choo has the habit of telling Li Lan s story versus allowing the reader to live it which is unusual as the story is told in 1st person narrative Li Lan never comes alive and is one dimensional, boring, and not available for attachment This weakens the pace of the story and filters the characters The Ghost Bride flows too much like a young adult fictional novel as Choo simplifies and overly romanticizes the plot in a teen lust of way while also constantly explaining things Meaning, Choo interrupts dialogue to explain a Chinese term or tradition or even has the characters explain these to each other in a As you know, Bob style common to annoying HF novels This is not how people think or speak to each in real life taking away from the reality of the story Also annoying is Choo s overuse of foreshadowing which isn t subtle, to say the least Although The Ghost Bride is rich in historical context in terms of the story settings the characters act, think, and respond in a much too modern way in comparison to other Asian historical fiction novels The Ghost Bride is noticeably modernized, reducing the possibility of memorable and moving characters and or plots The novel simply lacks that special oomph.Even though The Ghost Bride has some strong moments, it generally repeats the same events over and over just in a new way with pages passing in an uneventful manner When something does happen, the reader can t truly feel it Sadly, the idea behind The Ghost Bride is strong but the execution is poor In fact, instead of being filled with strong folklore, much of the context just seems silly and fantastical Much of the novel takes place in a supernatural world embedded in a mystery which is less action packed than the characters make it seem Albeit creative, this ghost plot is equivalent to the fictional books smothering the marketplace filled with vampires and wolves adding to that YA feel In a sense, nothing really happens in The Ghost Bride This is also reflected onto Li Lan whose character never grows resulting in a flat and even non existent character arc The Ghost Bride increases in excitement upon reaching the climax which does add to its readability and reader tolerance but it still lacks depth and the elements which would attract an adult reader I can t stress enough how much the book follows a YA path Sometimes it is even less than YA, as I envisioned it as a children s book Surprisingly, there are some unexpected occurrences toward the end of the novel which creates some interest and drama However, this slips into an ending which is too simple and happily ever after especially for a novel which attempted to be so adventurous, throughout The Ghost Bride is definitely of a YA novel than for adults If you enjoy teen oriented pieces with supernatural or fantasy theme, then The Ghost Bride is perfect Otherwise, it lacks depth, historical merit, and a moving story The Ghost Bride is a prime example of an overly publicized book falling short of its grandiose claims SKIP

  4. says:

    12.01 On offer Today for 1,99 Enjoyed this a lot although I did not have many hopes I bought the book because i found it as book deal on kindle I am really happy that I the book read since I learned a lot about old Malaya s culture and history Also, it was fascinating how the author introduced the reader into the world of the Chinese Malayan myths about the afterlife What I liked the most about this book is how beautifully the author describes the sights and culture of Malaya I remember reading about some food the main character was eating at the party and it made me seriously crave for what she was eating I do not think this happened in other books I read She made me see, smell and feel, just like i was there inside the book The action flows fast enough not to get bored and there is also a love story However, the magic of the book is in the worlds the author creates, both of the living and the dead.

  5. says:

    Library ebook.It seems two or three times a year I must read a tale that journeys me into the Asian afterlifethe Asian Historythe culture.and the family at hand I enjoy other Asian books by authors Lisa See, Janie Chang, Alice Poon, Tan Twan Eng, and others This is my first novel by Yangsze Choo She grew up in Malaysiaand is a 4th generation Malaysian of Chinese descent She received her undergraduate degree at Harvard.and I m thrilled to learn she is living here in the Bay Area with her family and several chickens I have an advance copy of her new book The Night Tiger , which I also look forward to reading soon Back to The Ghost Bride The wealthy Lim family approached Li Lan s father about a ghost marriage Li Lin was 18 Her mother died when she was a child The Lim family was one of the wealthiest in their town of Malacca. later known as Malaysia Malacca was a port, one of the oldest trading settlements in the east In the past few hundred years it had passed through Portuguese, Dutch, and finally British rule..during the 1800 s Recently the Lim s family son dieda young man named Lim Tian Ching It wasn t a normal practice to marry the LIVING to the DEAD It was rare..but usually held in order to placate a spirit Li Lan s father was addicted to opium He was withdrawn and bankrupt She spends a lot of her time with her nursemaid Amah almost like an acting mother but what I found interesting was that Li Lan s father and Amah had very different ways of thinking Amah was a shrewd superstitious woman She didn t find the old customs and traditions a joke like her father did Soat times Li Lan didn t know what she believed Li Lan seemed very frail to me not strong I liked her but she didn t have much inner strength of who she was for a long time She cried constantly at every juncture Cried and cried and cried when Lim Tian Ching began haunting her when she learned of Tian Bai s arrange marriage and when she was disembodied and wandering the streets of Malacca.Li Lan becomes a stronger heroine..but not until she overdosed on some medicine that puts her in a coma that takes her into the spirit underworld She becomes a ghost herself I know sounds corny.but it s here where we begin to see her strength and bravery She meets deity Er Lang..and together they uncover corruption a twisty gripping intense story kicks in Love is found in all the unexpected places to boot The atmosphere in this novel is captivating and lovely Some scenes are ghostly creepy Being transported into a dreamworld adds that magical fantasy element This was an intriguing tale based on ancient Chinese myths In the back of the book the author explains some of the Chinese myths.which for me adds to the appreciation of the entire mystical experience between the living and the dead Utterly original..beautiful proseand the story had me wanting to know what was going to happen next.

  6. says:

    In a word disappointing.This started out so positively, the first page had me hooked and then it went downhill, fell apart, became tedious and ended up a mess.I think the main problem I have is that Li Lan is such a nothing character, sorry to say She isn t interesting and has no personality She has been educated in a fashion, that s the sum total of who she is And she is like a child, easily distracted and believing of anything anyone anywhere tells her Someone says this person a good person is a murderer, she believes it Someone says this person another good person has run off to be a concubine and she believes it Over and over.She doesn t ever figure anything out for herself Someone always tells her what she needs to know She manages to find a spirit ghost to tell her what she needs to know about the spirit world, who leads her to the Plains of the Dead where she meets yet another person who tells her how things are She never solves the mystery The killer finally shows up and says I did it and exits The mystery of who is misbehaving in the afterlife is also told and not shown We don t even get an idea of what will actually happen when the truth is revealed, other than the perpetrators will be dealt with Okay then.Obviously, from what I ve said, there is almost total telling and little to no showing the plot Yes, Li Lan floats about here and there and there and here and does a whole lot of nothing.And waits for rescue after stupidly getting herself into trouble Let me repeat that, she waits and calls out for rescue This isn t a heroine.She is also easily distracted by the newest pretty shiny thing to cross her path.The ending is poorly done view spoiler with a supernatural romance coming out of nowhere and a selfish girl who, even though she has witnessed firsthand what her almost death did to her loved ones, is willing to throw them and her life aside to run after the new shiny thing And how convenient that he doesn t keep mistresses so he will marry her.I might have almost been able to believe that the change in her made this her choice if I had seen a change in her Er Lang tells her that he has changed her, but there is no evidence of it to convince me that this is true and, since this girl has a habit of believing whatever is said to her, I need to see for myself that she has been altered Not well done.Tian Bai has not done the first thing wrong, but she has decided to be cold to him because he had the audacity to be attracted to her when she wasn t her, he has the nerve to have been attracted to a adult version of her and not the little girl Pardon me for being icked out that this stupid girl would dislike a man who finds a grown woman alluring than a woman who prefers to look like a child I felt that was just so badly done, pushing forward some illogical reason for readers to think it is okay that she doesn t want the man she wept and woe is me d over This didn t make me find her appealing as a character BY the end of this book, I simply couldn t stand her Her reason for her choice is page 354 In the darkness of a thousand withered souls, it was Er Lang s hand that I sought, and his voice that I longed to hear Um, since Tian Bai wasn t capable of going into the land of the dead and she knew of only one being whom she could summon for help, this does NOT ring true She didn t choose him over all others, he was the only choice available which hardly makes it a choice at all hide spoiler

  7. says:

    Beautifully written book with a beautiful cover It captured my attention from page 1 and it was very hard to put down There was a not a single page that I did not want to read The long and short of it is that Li Lan, the daughter of opium addicted and bankrupt man her Mother passed away when she was a child Her father receives an offer by a wealthy and powerful family The Lim family want her to become a ghost bride for their recently deceased son,Lim Tian Ching After a visit to the Lim family home, Li Lan finds herself haunted not only by her ghostly would be husband, but also by her desire crush interest for the Lim s handsome new heir, Tian Bai Night after night, she is haunted by Lim Tian Ching a suitor who disturbs her in many ways After visiting a medium and feeling she has no options she accidentally takes to much potion and slips into a coma This is really where the magic begins and the story becomes and interesting She is drawn into the Chinese afterlife, full of ghost cities, deceased ancestors, hungry ghosts, demons, magic, paper funeral offerings, vengeful spirits, and, surprisingly, bureaucracy In this Chinese afterlife she meets Er Lang, a type of official who becomes acts as her guardian spirit With Er Lang she learns that there is to death and life than she ever imagined Li Lan must uncover the Lim family s darkest secrets and in the process learns about her own ancestors and their family history.Such a fantastic book Highly recommend.See of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com

  8. says:

    I see dead people.Li Lan, the motherless Chinese maiden, whose opium addicted father has betrothed her to the deceased son of a wealthy family, accidentally finds herself roaming the Plains of the Dead a terrifying afterworld where ghosts wait around to be judged, punished or reborn to new lives Within the ghost world, she embarks on a supernatural adventure, filled with highly imaginative, colorful characters including horned demons, corrupt judges and shape shifting otherwordly beings What is it about this ghost world that seemed to create uncanny parallels with the living Indeed Yangsze Choo has created hauntingly fantastic worlds of the living and dead All the elements that have fascinated me in Chinese folklore and mythology are in this novel traditional Chinese rituals, superstitions, the ominous afterlife, fabled creatures and the portended judgement day A spellbinding tale that is, at once, mysterious, suspenseful, romantic and otherworldly intriguing.Recommended for the readers who like that type of thing.

  9. says:

    This was a beautifully written and touching novel Fans of Peony in Love or Hayao Miyazaki s film Spirited Away will not be disappointed The heroine of this story grows from a demure and spoiled girl into a confident and courageous woman The world that Yangsze Choo creates is fantastic, so because they reflect actual beliefs about the afterlife This book has romance, terror, adventure and even some humor thrown in too Ghost Bride earned every one of its stars

  10. says:

    I am a Chinese Malaysian, born about a hundred years after the period this story takes place, and even I, jaded as I am about the state Malaysian is in now, find The Ghost Bride fascinating It s interesting to remember how people lived back then, before Malaysia was Malaysia, when it was still Malaya and under the British rule, how the various immigrants and cultures intersect What I enjoyed most is imagining how this story could ve very well been my own family s story Not the ghost bride part, of course It is a rare occurrence in itself, but I believe by the time my own grandfather migrated to Malaysia, the practice of marrying a living person to a dead one had all but disappeared I have heard of a recent case of a marriage between a dead Chinese couple though No, what I could imagine was the family intrigue, the head of the house with his many wives and concubines, the many children spawned between the wives and concubines, the family politics as the wives and children all try to win their husband father s favor The competition between the wives to produce a male heir, the hatred and jealousy between each wife and their children.My own grandfather had three wives and a concubine My father, the youngest son of the Second Wife, had 7 siblings by his own mother I am not sure of how many children my grandfather had with his First and Third Wives, but there were many His concubine produced one son Although I have heard many stories about my father s childhood, this book really brought to life my imagination of how my grandfather and his family lived, and I assure you, it was a lot dramatic and quite frankly, uglier, than the family dynamics in the book My uncle s second wife actually chased my mother around the house with a kitchen knife However, let s get back to the book I loved the whole Ghost Bride theme, Yangsze Choo s depiction of the Chinese s beliefs about the different levels of Hell and burning offerings to the dead ancestors I love how Choo brought the ghost dimension, the Plains of the Dead, and all the other ghostly denizens to life no pun intended It felt a little bit like Neil Gaiman s Neverwhere, and is written just as well as Neverwhere was, perhaps even better But I might be biased However, Neverwhere is one of my favorite Gaiman books, and this is me giving really high praise to The Ghost Bride I can t recommend this book enough It s amazing and I loved it.

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