Peony in Love

  • by Lisa See
  • Narrated by Penelope Freeman
  • 12 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 17th-century China, the Manchus have seized power and crushed the Ming dynasty. But in an elaborate villa on the shores of Huanzhou's West Lake, Peony lives a sheltered life with her wealthy family, trapped like a good-luck cricket in a bamboo and lacquer cage. Though raised to be obedient, Peony is inspired by the spirited heroine in the opera The Peony Pavillion and develops dreams of her own. When she catches sight of an elegant, handsome man she begins to resent her betrothal. So begins Peony's unforgettable journey of love, desire, sorrow, and redemption. Based on a true story, this haunting novel brings to life an exotic time and place.

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What the Critics Say

"Peony's vibrant voice, perfectly pitched between the novel's historical and passionate depths, carries her story beautifully - in life and afterlife." (Publishers Weekly)
"There's much here to be savored and a great deal to be learned." (Washington Post Book World)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An eating disorder romanticised

Would you ever listen to anything by Lisa See again?

Sad to say no


Any additional comments?

The first part of this story is about severe anorexia nervosa dressed up as love sickness suffered by a 16 yr old femme fatale.

As far as the rest of the story is concerned, it has a bias towards mythology and is told from an unusual perspective. There are some revealing reviews under the Amazon tab.

However the culture of 17th century China and descriptions of clothes, living quarters, beautiful gardens etc. were fascinating and informative.

I thought the narrator quite good but male voices sounded the same and the young female voices very girly.

I think this is a story some will adore and some will hate.

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- Jem

Insight into Chinese culture.

I enjoyed this story and got a real sense that the author understood the culture she wrote about very well. I think I probably learned quite a lot about customs etc. while I was able to connect with a lot of the emotions in the character's story.
This was an easy listen and a good book to relax with. I found myself relaxing into sleep with it most nights. The narrator was very melodic.
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- Gillian

Book Details

  • Release Date: 13-11-2007
  • Publisher: ISIS Audio Books