This week at Great New Books, in addition to my recommendation, we’re giving away 4 copies of THE GHOST BRIDE by Yangsze Choo in gorgeous hardcover, out on shelves earlier this month. Thank you to Yangsze Choo’s US publisher, William Morrow / HarperCollins, for partnering with us in the giveaway (details below).
The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo
I love to travel. My reading taste is similar—I enjoy reading books which take me places I’ve never been and introduce me to new worlds, cultures, foods, and rituals. THE GHOST BRIDE by Yangsze Choo is one of those books which transported me to far-off Southeast Asia for quite an adventure.
The novel is told from the point of view of the main character, shy and studious seventeen-year-old Li Lan (meaning Beautiful Orchid), who hopes for a good marriage prospect, as many young women of her time. In a somewhat Austen-like beginning, Li Lan considers her options for marriage to help prevent her fallen-from-society father from declining into complete ruin.
Her marriage proposal from the wealthy Lim family sounds like a good match. Li Lan hopes the proposal is to marry a cousin in the house. But she soon learns her marriage would be to the Lim son who died months ago. The Lim family desires the marriage according to their custom, to appease a spirit tormenting the family. They believe by Li Lan “marrying” their deceased son, they will be relieved of bad fortune.
As a result, Li Lan’s health suffers. The Lim heir who died haunts her nights, begging for her hand in spirit marriage, but Li Lan has dreams of her own. It is in the conflict between the two that the story plunges into the underworld. And there begins Li Lan’s quest to understand her place in the real-world and parallel underworld, according to her culture and its customs.
I’m not normally a reader of stories involving parallel ghost cities, ox-headed demons, and paper servants. But Yangsze’s writing in The Ghost Bride is clear and elegant and her historical and fantasy worlds quickly come to life. The story begins as a fascinating historical glimpse at Chinese emigrants in colonial Malacca, Malaysia, and becomes a high-stakes story of fantasy, myth, and supernatural romance.
The Ghost Bride transports the reader to a whole other world, one almost unimaginable until Yangsze’s words fill the pages with magical color and life. At its heart, The Ghost Bride is about pursuing a life made of love that builds up rather than tears down. It is a beautiful story of discovery for the adventurous heart, one I highly recommend.
To enter the drawing to win one of 4 hardcover copies of The Ghost Bride, leave a comment (any comment) below, from Wednesday, August 28 until Friday, August 30 at midnight Eastern time.
Special Giveaway: Yangsze Choo, author of The Ghost Bride, has given us 3 sets of 3 unique, author-created character cards. To enter to win one set of The Ghost Bride character cards in addition to the book, link to this post via Twitter or Facebook between Wednesday, August 28 and Friday, August 30 and mention your link here in the comments. On Twitter, use the hashtag #TheGhostBrideCards with your link, and on Facebook, simply link to this post.
The three winners of the character cards will also be winning a copy of the book, to make a special set. Mentioning this post on Twitter or FB increases your chances of winning both. (Thanks for trying something new with us!)
Great New Books will email the winners individually and announce them in the comments on Saturday, August 31. Thank you for joining us!