Chinese mythology is not one of my strong points. In fact I know nothing beyond the fact that dragons figure in there somewhere, I think. I know even less about Chinese history since Disney’s Mulan isn’t a reliable source, even if there is a dragon So when I read the blurb for The Ghost Bride, by Yangsze Choo, I found myself highly interested.
One evening, my father asked me whether I would like to become a ghost bride.
“The Lim family.”
The Lim family was among the wealthiest households in our town of Malacca.
“They had a son who dies a few months ago. A young man named Lim Tian Ching – do you remember him?”
Lim Tian Ching was someone I had seen perhaps once or twice at some festival. Apart from his wealthy clan, he had left no impression at all. “Surely he was very young?”
“Not much older than you, I believe.”
“What did he die of?”
“A fever, they say. In any case he is the bridegroom.” My father spoke carefully, as though he was already regretting his words.
“And they want me to marry him?”
This practice of arranging the marriage of a dead person was uncommon, usually held in order to placate a spirit. A deceased concubine who had produced a son might be officially married to elevate her status to wife. Or two lovers who died tragically might be united after death. That much i knew. But to marry the living to the dead was rare and, indeed, dreadful occurrence.
“Yes, it is you that they want.” (End of blurb)
It’s a conversation that changes Li Lan’s life forever by setting a chain of events in place that changes who she is and sends her on an adventure of a life time. She begins as the daughter of a now impoverished opium smoking father with no real prospects to having to make a decision that will affect the rest of her life.
It’s a great read. It’s full of emotion, suspense, action, danger, and intrigue. There’s a whole (new to me) world of Chinese afterlife, complete with ghosts, demons, and plots. I loved it. The Ghost Bride was Yangsze Choo’s debut novel. If she ever writes another I will be reading it. It is even a clean read. I don’t remember any offensive language and there weren’t any explicit scenes.
Find a copy at your local library or click on the title above to purchase the kindle version. It’s a great book!