Friday, February 23, 2018

Peach Blossom Pavilion by Mingmei Yip

Paperback:   421 pages                                                                                               
Genre: Historical Romance.
Publisher: Avon 2014
Source: Tywyn Public Library
First Sentence:  Prologue: The California sun slowly streams in through my apartment window, then gropes its way past a bamboo plant, a Chinese vase spilling with plum blossoms, a small incense burner, then finally lands on Bao Lan - Precious Orchid - the woman lying opposite me without a stitch on.
Favourite Quote: “I was performing my ritual of sipping tea, shooting flirtatious glances and planning murder”
Review Quote: ‘Memoirs of a Geisha but with a sharper, more suspenseful pace’ Powell’s Books
My Opinion: A fascinating account of how life was for a Chinese Courtesan in the early 20C. The protagonist Xiang Xiang is now an elderly lady in her late nineties and the story is her account to her great granddaughter of her life. Living in the Peach Blossom Pavilion where she was sent by her mother after the death of her father, she grew up with the prime reason for her education being to prepare her for life as a courtesan. Such a sad childhood, despite being successful and well cared for Xian Xiang never forgets her parents and plots to one day escape. When she does it is not for the straight forward life that you may imagine, oh no, adventures both passionate and dangerous lay ahead for her. A compelling read one of my favourites.
Highly recommended if you liked Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha or enjoy the writing of Anchee Min

Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

A seductive and evocative debut that opens the doors on life as a Chinese courtesan in the Peach Blossom Pavilion…

Behind the doors of the pavilion, a world of sensuality and intrigue awaits…

Xiang Xiang’s life as an innocent girl is about to change beyond recognition.

Falsely accused of murder, Xiang Xiang's father is executed, and her mother forced into a Buddhist nunnery. Xiang Xiang, alone and friendless at thirteen years old, is tricked into entering the Peach Blossom Pavilion, where she is given the name Bao Lan – Precious Orchid.

There she is trained in the fine arts of womanhood, studying music, literature, painting, and more importantly, the art of seduction and pleasuring men; and becomes one of China’s most successful courtesans.

However, Precious Orchid is determined to avenge her parents and sets out on a journey that includes passion, adventure, danger, fame, and finally, her chance to achieve the justice she has sought so long.

An enchanting tale of opulence and desire, perfect for fans of Anchee Min and Memoirs of a Geisha.

Author Profile

Mingmei Yip was born in China, received her Ph.D. from the University of Paris, Sorbonne, and held faculty appointments at the Chinese University and Baptist University in Hong Kong. She's published five books in Chinese, written several columns for seven major Hong Kong newspapers, and has appeared on over forty TV and radio programs in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, and the U.S. She immigrated to the United States in 1992, where she now lives in New York City.

Photographs, Trailer and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites.

Goodreads Author Profile    Amazon Author Page    Mingmei Yip - Author's Official Website

Mingmei Yip - Instagram       Facebook Profile    Mingmeiyip - Twitter

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