The Ghost Bride: A Novel

Hardcover | August 6, 2013

byYangsze Choo

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Yangsze Choo’s stunning debut, The Ghost Bride, is a startlingly original novel infused with Chinese folklore, romantic intrigue, and unexpected supernatural twists.

Li Lan, the daughter of a respectable Chinese family in colonial Malaysia, hopes for a favorable marriage, but her father has lost his fortune, and she has few suitors. Instead, the wealthy Lim family urges her to become a “ghost bride” for their son, who has 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 what price?
 
Night after night, Li Lan is drawn into the shadowy parallel world of the Chinese afterlife, where she must uncover the Lim family’s darkest secrets—and the truth about her own family.

Reminiscent of Lisa See’s Peony in Love and Amy Tan’s The Bonesetter’s Daughter, The Ghost Bride is a wondrous coming-of-age story and from a remarkable new voice in fiction.

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From the Publisher

Yangsze Choo’s stunning debut, The Ghost Bride, is a startlingly original novel infused with Chinese folklore, romantic intrigue, and unexpected supernatural twists.Li Lan, the daughter of a respectable Chinese family in colonial Malaysia, hopes for a favorable marriage, but her father has lost his fortune, and she has few suitors. Ins...

From the Jacket

A startlingly original voice makes her literary debut with this wondrous coming-of-age story infused with Chinese folklore, romantic intrigue, adventure, and fascinating, dreamlike twistsOne evening, my father asked me whether I would like to become a ghost bride. . . .Though ruled by British overlords, the Chinese of colonial Malaya s...

Yangsze Choo is a fourth-generation Malaysian of Chinese descent. She lives in California with her husband and their two children, and loves to eat and read (often at the same time).

other books by Yangsze Choo

Ghost Bride Intl Indigo Ed, The
Ghost Bride Intl Indigo Ed, The

Paperback|Aug 22 2013

$19.99

Format:HardcoverDimensions:368 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.17 inPublished:August 6, 2013Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062227327

ISBN - 13:9780062227324

Customer Reviews of The Ghost Bride: A Novel

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from A most original story This is a most original story. It is set during 1890's colonial Malaysia and young Li Lan is being considered to become the ghost wife to the recently deceased son of wealthy Lim family. I found this concept intriguing and unsettling at the same time. I kept wondering what kind of life she could have as wife to a ghost. Then the tale gets complicated, enter the deceased man's cousin Tian Bai and another mysterious man Er Lang. It takes the rest of the story to unravel the stories of these men and their ties to Li Lan. Throughout the story I keep hoping that Li Lan's father would get his act together and behave like a caring parent instead of hiding in his room and smoking opium. Fortunate for her, she has Amah, her nanny to guide her, not that teens are known for listening to the advice of their elders. I was captivated by this debut novel the entire tale. Each time I thought I knew where it was leading, a new spirit or twist would show and the direction would change. Once I started, I didn't want to put it down. I can't wait to see what surprises will be found in future works by author Yangsze Choo.
Date published: 2016-06-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Ghost Bride This book has everything I like. There is an interesting heroine. There is a trip to the world of the dead. There is true love. There is interesting culture. There are ghosts. There is murder most foul. There are monsters. There are dragons. There is a beautiful writing style. Yet, somehow, these wonderful components never managed to come together into a cohesive whole for me. This is a first novel for Yangsze Choo and I really want to love her work. As such, I will wait for the second book to judge.
Date published: 2016-03-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Relatively Disappointing I picked up this book because it was an Indigo Spotlight book and it left me wanting. It is a creative book with a story line with a lot of potential; however, it lacked in the delivery of this imaginative tale. Given the subject matter and novel length, I was hoping for a bit more depth and for many of the more "boring" scenes to be a bit less drawn out. Usually, I would have finished a book this length in a few days, or perhaps a week, but this one took over a month.
Date published: 2015-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Light and Sweet An easy read with some darker undertones. Very well put together despite the author's rush at the end.
Date published: 2015-10-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Ghost Bride I enjoyed this read. I did wish it went on a little longer and was a bit conflicted about the narrators final choice but overall a good book
Date published: 2015-08-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Did not finish Dull, slow, and boring, despite what could be really interesting subject matter. I love historical novels, and especially ones about Asian countries, but could not get into this one. The heroine is dull and spiritless and hard to connect with so it's hard to stay interested in what happens to her.
Date published: 2015-05-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic, educational, exciting! I couldn't stop reading to find out what would happen next. A unique story with excellent characters.
Date published: 2015-05-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Entertaining Sort of like a grownup spirited away. Full of intrigue and spirits, with a strong heroine. Great read!
Date published: 2015-05-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow! Well worth it! A fantastic read! Amazingly written, beautifully descriptive with mufti-faceted characters and plots. You can tell the amount of research that has gone into this novel. A great look into the cultural and traditional beliefs on death and the afterlife of Asia and specifically China and it's off-shoots, as well as other religious and tradition aspects of life and a little known cultural act.
Date published: 2015-05-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVELY! This was simply wonderful! I enjoyed this book very much. It kept me on the edge,interested and engaged. I loved all the folklore and learning so much about the traditions and beliefs. It is well written, with passion and dedication. So very easy to read,yet exciting. Looking forward to reading more from Yangsze Choo.
Date published: 2015-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Historical Ghost Story I fairly enjoyed this haunting tale. Little long but full of historical reference. The ending surprised me. Good read.
Date published: 2015-03-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating This was a compelling read that had me hooked almost immediately! The descriptions and historical information could get a little wordy at times, but i never felt that it detracted from the story. A little predictable, it still had plenty of twists and surprises.
Date published: 2015-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it What a fantastic read! Very lovely story and awesome writing style. I became very attached to the characters. I finished the book very fast because I could not put it down. I really hope the author will write a continuation novel some day. I would strongly recommend this fantastic novel.
Date published: 2014-08-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it What a fantastic read! Very lovely story and awesome writing style. I became very attached to the characters. I finished the book very fast because I could not put it down. I really hope the author will write a continuation novel some day. I would strongly recommend this fantastic novel.
Date published: 2014-08-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it What a fantastic read! Very lovely story and awesome writing style. I became very attached to the characters. I finished the book very fast because I could not put it down. I really hope the author will write a continuation novel some day. I would strongly recommend this fantastic novel.
Date published: 2014-08-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Enjoyable Enjoyable weekend read with some interesting facts about Asian culture but dry and slow in places
Date published: 2014-07-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable Loved the mystic supernatural theme entwined with ancient Chinese customs and folklore in 19th century Malaysia. The characters were well developed and convincing. There was an excellent balance of humour, irony and tragedy in this very well written book. Bravo, Yangsze Choo!
Date published: 2014-03-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This is a fresh story that brings the reader into an amazing new world. One of my favorites. The only area where it could improve is the ending, which came across as being rushed. I definitely recommend this book.
Date published: 2014-02-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wendy O Loved this book , however I feel that there should be more written about the mysterious dragon :)
Date published: 2014-02-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wendy It was interesting, story was laid out in a fluid way with creative way of describing the chinese folklore of what a ghost bride is and-or how one would become a ghost bride. I've only heard brief instances of the term "ghost bride" but never heard it described in such detail.
Date published: 2014-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Ghost Bride Great book, kept me on the edge right to the end.
Date published: 2014-01-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Ghost Bride Beautiful, evocative prose. The dream-like narrative takes the reader on a journey that will not be soon forgotten.
Date published: 2014-01-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Ghost Bride A thoroughly enjoyable read, different from anything I've read before. A fascinating journey into old beliefs of the Chinese afterlife. If you enjoy this book, you'll also enjoy Three Souls by Janie Chan, another excursion into the Chinese afterlife. Both books have heroines you will route for and are well worth the read.
Date published: 2014-01-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Ghost Bride Great book. This book focused more on the history, the superstition and traditional beliefs of Malaya.
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Ghost Bride This book was a rich, magical ride from start to finish . I devoured it in one sitting.
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Ghost Bride Such an interesting book. Love learning about the cultural beliefs surrounding death while following such an interesting story line. Great descriptors that allowed me to visualize and feel like I was in the story
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN Lin Lan is the only daughter of a respectable but impoverished Malayan family. Her father shocks her one morning inquiring whether she would be interested in being the “ghost bride” to a recently deceased young man from a very well-to-do family. The young man, Lim Tian Ching has started appearing to his mother in dreams telling her of his infatuation with Lin Lan. In some cases becoming a “ghost bride” is considered an honour, but not in this situation. Soon Lim begins invading Lin’s dreams as well. To exorcise him Lin and her Amah visit a fortuneteller. Following her advice Lin Lan accidentally finds herself chasing Lim through the afterlife. With one foot in the world of the living and one foot in the world of the dead, Lin fears that she may be losing her tenuous hold on her own physical being and find herself stranded there. This book is beautifully written. This book is filled mythical beings and interesting stories from oriental legends. This book paints vivid word pictures. This book is a ghost story. For me, the combination of these things would automatically earn this novel a five-star rating. Unfortunately, despite the beautiful prose and interesting characters I found it a very slow moving read. Sometimes I felt as mired in the dreamscape as Lin herself, yet I plodded on because, like Lin I did need to know how the adventure would end.
Date published: 2013-10-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun, Fantasy Romance This is engrossing fun page turner. I thought it was going to be a typical asian historical fiction but it surprise me by taking me into after life world of Chinese culture and belief. What will you do if you are being hunted by a ghost who wants to make you his bride? What would you do to save yourself and who will you meet in the world of dead? If you're looking for a different kind of book that is also enjoyable to read, I highly recommend this book.
Date published: 2013-08-07

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Editorial Reviews

“Unlike any book I’ve ever experienced, with its meld of historical fiction coupled with a fascinating culture, murder mystery, the wandering of spirits of the dead and not-so-dead, romance, and adventures in the afterworld . . . one revelatory experience after another.”