I didn’t realize when I chose this book that the majority of it would take place in the spirit world. I know I would have passed it by, and that would have been a shame. Why? Because this book was wonderful. Set in Malaysia in the late 19th century, Li Lan is an 18 year old girl whose family is approached with an offer of marriage – to the eldest son of a wealthy household. The only catch is – he’s dead. Meanwhile, Li Lan is in love with Tian Bai, the living relation who will actually head that same household. Her would-be suitor, soon invades Li Lan’s dreams and what follows is a fascinating narrative that leads Li Lan into the spirit world in an effort to solve a mystery and rid herself of the ghost suitor.
I had heard the concept of a ghost wife/husband in other books I’d read, and I really appreciated the author’s effort to explain it and also to illustrate (via her story) the spirit world and it’s connection to humans in Chinese culture.
Not only did I learn more about topic, but the story was quite the page-turner!
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2013