The Ghost Bride

The Ghost Bride One evening my father asked me if I would like to become a ghost bride Though ruled by British overlords the Chinese of colonial Malaya still cling to ancient customs And in the sleepy port town of

  • Title: The Ghost Bride
  • Author: Yangsze Choo
  • ISBN: 9780062227324
  • Page: 410
  • Format: Hardcover
  • One evening, my father asked me if I would like to become a ghost bride Though ruled by British overlords, the Chinese of colonial Malaya still cling to ancient customs And in the sleepy port town of Malacca, ghosts and superstitions abound.Li Lan, the daughter of a genteel but bankrupt family, has few prospects But fate intervenes when she receives an unusual propos One evening, my father asked me if I would like to become a ghost bride Though ruled by British overlords, the Chinese of colonial Malaya still cling to ancient customs And in the sleepy port town of Malacca, ghosts and superstitions abound.Li Lan, the daughter of a genteel but bankrupt family, has few prospects But fate intervenes when she receives an unusual proposal from the wealthy and powerful Lim family They want her to become a ghost bride for the family s only son, who recently died under mysterious circumstances Rarely practiced, a traditional ghost marriage is used to placate a restless spirit Such a union would guarantee Li Lan a home for the rest of her days, but at a terrible price.After an ominous visit to the opulent Lim mansion, Li Lan finds herself haunted not only by her ghostly would be suitor, but also by her desire for the Lim s handsome new heir, Tian Bai Night after night, she is drawn into the shadowy parallel world of the Chinese afterlife, with its ghost cities, paper funeral offerings, vengeful spirits and monstrous bureaucracy including the mysterious Er Lang, a charming but unpredictable guardian spirit Li Lan must uncover the Lim family s darkest secrets and the truth about her own family before she is trapped in this ghostly world forever.

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    About "Yangsze Choo"

    1. Yangsze Choo

      Yangsze Choo is a fourth generation Malaysian of Chinese descent After graduating from Harvard, she worked as a management consultant and at a startup before writing her first novel Yangsze eats and reads too much, and often does both at the same time You can follow her blog at yschoo or on Twitter yangszechoo

    912 thoughts on “The Ghost Bride”

    1. Before I start the book review, I d like to bring you all to hell.The Chinese Ten Courts of Hell, that is.This particular hell is located at Haw Par Villa, Singapore I first entered its dark depths in August 2006, and remember recoiling in horror when I saw a few bloody scenes you can view here.So what are the Ten Courts of Hell According to Chinese mythology, souls must enter these courts to be judged for the sins they committed in the land of the living Each court deals with different sins and [...]


    2. It seemed to me that in this confluence of cultures, we had acquired one another s superstitions without necessarily any of their comforts.The star of this book is not Li Lan It is not her book the focal point is not the very mild romance, it is not the mystery The overwhelming show stealer is the setting, the background, the history, the superstition and traditional beliefs of turn of the century Malaya.I am Asian myself and I maintain my love of Asian culture despite having immigrated to the U [...]


    3. Imagine having to marry a deceased bridegroom Yes, you read that correctly Although uncommon, this was the practice among some folk lore practicing Chinese and is the ill fate of Li Lan , a young woman in 19th century Malyasia in The Ghost Bride by Yangzse Choo Despite some beautiful imagery and scene settings, The Ghost Bride is painfully slow Even though it has the calming zen like presence common to most Asian historical fiction novels the plot is halted, as well Choo has the habit of telling [...]


    4. In a word disappointing.This started out so positively, the first page had me hooked and then it went downhill, fell apart, became tedious and ended up a mess.I think the main problem I have is that Li Lan is such a nothing character, sorry to say She isn t interesting and has no personality She has been educated in a fashion, that s the sum total of who she is And she is like a child, easily distracted and believing of anything anyone anywhere tells her Someone says this person a good person is [...]


    5. I see dead people.Li Lan, the motherless Chinese maiden, whose opium addicted father has betrothed her to the deceased son of a wealthy family, accidentally finds herself roaming the Plains of the Dead a terrifying afterworld where ghosts wait around to be judged, punished or reborn to new lives Within the ghost world, she embarks on a supernatural adventure, filled with highly imaginative, colorful characters including horned demons, corrupt judges and shape shifting otherwordly beings.What is [...]


    6. This was a beautifully written and touching novel Fans of Peony in Love or Hayao Miyazaki s film Spirited Away will not be disappointed The heroine of this story grows from a demure and spoiled girl into a confident and courageous woman The world that Yangsze Choo creates is fantastic, so because they reflect actual beliefs about the afterlife This book has romance, terror, adventure and even some humor thrown in too Ghost Bride earned every one of its stars


    7. Beautifully written book with a beautiful cover It captured my attention from page 1 and it was very hard to put down There was a not a single page that I did not want to read The long and short of it is that Li Lan, the daughter of opium addicted and bankrupt man her Mother passed away when she was a child Her father receives an offer by a wealthy and powerful family The Lim family want her to become a ghost bride for their recently deceased son,Lim Tian Ching After a visit to the Lim family ho [...]


    8. I am a Chinese Malaysian, born about a hundred years after the period this story takes place, and even I, jaded as I am about the state Malaysian is in now, find The Ghost Bride fascinating It s interesting to remember how people lived back then, before Malaysia was Malaysia, when it was still Malaya and under the British rule, how the various immigrants and cultures intersect What I enjoyed most is imagining how this story could ve very well been my own family s story Not the ghost bride part, [...]


    9. Li Lan is a young woman from a family that was once prestigious but is in decline in Malaya, 1893 Unbeknownst to her, she had been betrothed to the second heir of the very rich Lin Family, Tian Bai But when the first heir dies, the family wants Tian Bai to marry for status and they ask Li Lan s father if she will marry their dead son and become his ghost bride This is a seldom used custom where a living person is married to a dead person and assumes the role of their widow for the rest of their [...]


    10. The first chapters of The Ghost Bride had me hooked I have always enjoyed reading about Asian families, Asian history and culture The audio is narrated quite beautifully by the author, and it was very calming to listen to her as the atmosphere and characters were formed Then the dream sequences began and an endless journey into an underground spirit world I came off that hook I was attached to real fast, as new character after new character was introduced and the storyline went off into fantasie [...]


    11. Having grown up in Singapore, with a mother from Malaysia, I was thrilled to read a book set in Malacca, a town I visited many times in my childhood Yangsze Choo has done a fantastic job of creating the mood and place of Malacca She has clearly done her homework Her novel is a great read, full of adventure and twists and turns, I could barely put it down once I started into it I loved the detailed descriptions of the clothing and food It made me nostalgic for yummy Malaysian food I see a sequel [...]


    12. This book is pretty much Twilight, except with a Chinese girl and a really attractive dragon man playing the parts of Bella and Edward respectively.I picked up this book because of an interest in the myths and rituals My father is Chinese and was born in Indonesia, so I grew up with stories of tigers and demons in the jungle and the harshness of parental discipline and the very segregated classes I was excited to see the pontianak and ghosts, but that s it I was hoping for a either a strong, yet [...]


    13. Li Lan a woman on the edge of childhood and womanhood gained a proposal from a famously rich dead son Crazy, right Terrorized by his ghost leads her through a journey to solve a cloudy mystery Clearly, I really liked this book It had everything that enticed me folklore, spirits, beautiful scenery, mystery, and romance I would agree with some reviewers that this story is not really about Li Lan It wasn t about her romance or the mystery She was only the medium The book was about culture, history, [...]


    14. This is probably not a book I should have read, I think it is brilliantly written and it is certainly about a little explored subject The tone is almost dreamy, which is expected because so much of the book takes place in dreams Which leads me to my problem with the book, I love learning about new cultures, so Malaysia as the country was enticing It was just too much fantasy for me, too much of the dreaming and the dead Just not my cup of tea, but I know others have loved and will love this book [...]


    15. The title of the book captured my attention immediately I just had to read it.Li Lan, the eighteen year old narrator stemmed from a Chinese family who settled in Malaya in the 1800s Although there were various other influences in their lives from the multitude of cultures present at the time, including the British influences, her family, as most Chinese families, still maintained their own belief systems Hence it resulted in her being subjected to one of the traditions of providing prosperity an [...]


    16. If we re going to have a wedding, maybe we should have an exorcism first Are you mad she said That s the last thing anybody wants to hear before a wedding Finally, finally, I got to read Ghost Bride It s been on my kindle for such a long time, I nearly forgot about it I had tried to get into the book previously but never found a way into the story This time the Malaysian setting, the excursion into the Chinese spirit world and the unlikely murder mystery grabbed me almost from the start.Unfortun [...]


    17. When I was a little girl I found a set of books that had folk lore tales in them They had China, Japan and several other countries stories I inhaled them all I love, love, love that kind of thing.This book is like that Go into it with an open mind When I first heard of it I kept wondering how the heck do you marry a ghost The author answered that very well It surprises you in the thinking that it s going to be a love story It really isn t Twists and turns at every junction But enjoy them I did N [...]


    18. T i l y l m ti c ph i n i r ng, c i c nh t ti u thuy t n y l c i b a s ch V v th , xin c tr n tr ng g i t ng 0.5 trong t ng s 2 cho ekip l m s ch c t m c a IPM.L m d u c i ch t y nh ki u m t phi n b n Hoa ki u Malaysia d i h i c a m y ti u thuy t fantasy c a Phan H n Nhi n t ng l m t i mu n c ng u v o t ng m t th i v y Yangsze Choo ph t tri n t nh hu ng theo ki u, m nh th ch n th th n ph i th th i, chuy n kh c th mi n quan t m Anh logic, xin m i anh ra o ch i d a v i kh ch h th ng, xin m i ch ra [...]


    19. SOME SPOILERS AHEAD Simply put, The Ghost Bride is fantastic I went into this book fully expecting historical fiction with a murder mystery twist What I got is a delightful paranormal story the likes of Spirited Away.The book starts slow describing an impoverished Chinese family in Malaya Li Lan s mother died when when she was little, and she basically grew up with her grieving dad who smokes so much opium that he managed to lose family fortune and any prospects for his daughter to make a prospe [...]


    20. Four and a half stars Looking at the cover of this book, I expected some slow moving historical fiction kind of like Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Instead I got a book that could easily have been put into the genre section scifi fantasy but has been marketed as literary fiction because that s where the acclaim and hopefully for this author, the money will be To be clear, saying that the book is like genre fiction is a compliment from me This plot of the book hinges on a practice I had never hea [...]


    21. Giving a book four stars again is as precious as Kageyama s smile______ We Chinese did not like to give or receive certain gifts for superstitious reasons knives, because they could sever a relationship handkerchiefs, for they portended weeping and clocks, as they were thought to measure out the days of your life Might not seem an important quote, or a memorable one, but it honestly portrays pretty much perfectly why I loved this The Ghost Bride does not shine for its characters or its romance i [...]


    22. I usually only read nonfiction, but my wife insisted I immediately read the Ghost Bride I picked it up and couldn t put it down I was transported into a world that I knew about, but for the first time, felt that I experienced it Now, every time I see reminders of the Chinese afterlife, I will always think adventure just as it was for Li Lan I hope the author writes a sequel


    23. One evening, my father asked me whether I would like to become a ghost bride.There really is a severe lack of Southeast Asian representation in popular literature, not just YA The Ghost Bride proves that I was born and raised in Singapore, that tiny country neighbouring Malaysia or Malaya as it used to be is in this book we were even part of them for, like, two years , so knowing Choo Yangsze broke out in the publishing world with a young adult novel set in 1890s Malaya was both extremely inspir [...]


    24. When you have few prospects for a marriage, and your father is so addicted to opium that those prospects get fewer by the day, is becoming a ghost bride really the worst that could happen Li Lan is the only daughter in a Chinese family in Malaya Her family, once reasonably respectable, has fallen far after her mother s death and her father s ensuing addiction to opium So when a wealthy neighboring family suggests Li Lan as a ghost bride for the dead son, her father mentions it to her in passing [...]


    25. Ehhh 2.5 for me The shining star of this book is less the story, and the setting and folk lore that weaves through the whole thing Both the mystery and the romance were pretty lacking and plot in general just did not capture my interest I stuck with it though because I found the setting so intriguing If you don t mind a book with just an OK plot but a fantastic world, I d recommend picking this up.


    26. In Malaya in the 1890s, 19 year old Li Lan lives with her opium addicted, widowed father Formerly a wealthy man, opium use has caused her father to trust the business to partners who took all his money, leaving them alone in a big house with only a cook, a maid, and Li Lan s Amah the nurse nanny who brought up Li Lan and also her mother While having three servants sounds fabulous to our modern mindset, in that time and place it was the bare minimum Li Lan is in danger of becoming an old maid, bu [...]


    27. I feel like I ve read a lot of ownvoices books in the last few months, but this book, with its setting, characters, and cultural context, felt like it was just for me And that s what makes this book special to me More than just historical fiction also incorporates elements of fantasy, paranormal, romance, and mystery Amazing, amazing setting and worldbuilding set in dreamy Malacca but the story also takes you to otherworldly planes Very accessible to anyone and everyone, especially if you are n [...]


    28. This is a very well written historical ghost story set against the backdrop of colonial Malaya The author has a very interesting way of setting the scene and taking you right into that time period And she has an interesting way with language too It felt right for that era, but also at the same time somewhat contemporary I really like how much detail she brought into the writing it never felt like it dragged the story down Very well done.There s a little bit of everything here a haunting, somewha [...]


    29. What a disappointment I wanted to love this book so badly, and I loved the first hundred pages or so The author began with the tale of a young girl from a poor family, Li Lan, who is propositioned to be the bride of the spirit a recently deceased rich man He begins to haunt her dreams, and she is drawn into his creepy family Sounds great, right That was the first hundred pages The next two hundred pages reads like a video game view spoiler The narrator, Li Lan, goes into a coma after overdosing [...]


    30. A solid three Maybe even a 3.2 I know others have just loved this I enjoyed it Not my usual fare Set in Malacca, a town in Malaya, later known as Malaysia Chinese families landed in this Brittish owned and controlled country Li Lan is young, and she is haunted by a young man from the Lim family intending to make her his ghost bride There is a romantic interest with his cousin Li lan enters the ghost world to basically try to work out her issues, the haunting being one of them, and her past and f [...]


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