The Ghost Bride

The Ghost Bride

Downloadable Audiobook - 2013 | Unabridged
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When she agrees to become a ghost bride for the wealthy Lim family's son, who recently died under mysterious circumstances, Li Lan must dive into a shadowy parallel world of the Chinese afterlife to find the truth.
Publisher: [New York] : Harper Audio, 2013
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9780062263346
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 sound file, 12 hours, 7 minutes)
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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Jun 02, 2015

I listened to The Ghost Bride as an audiobook (narrated by the author), which was a wonderful way to experience this story. Set in Victorian Malaysia (controlled by the British, but a veritable melting pot of cultures), this is part folklore, part mythology and part magical realism.

There's a lot of Chinese culture undertones here, from belief in spirits and what happens in the afterlife, to food, dress, customs, filial duties, etc. For someone who knows very little about Chinese culture, it was a beautifully poetic backdrop to the story.

The story itself, while deftly interwoven with the folklore, is a young woman's adventure through death itself. I'd call it fiction, not YA, even though the protagonist is 18 years old. The themes are adult, and the projected path of the heroine is a bit more fraught than I expected.

Overall, listening to this story was like being read a beautiful take by my mother, and also like hearing a poetry reading by David Keplinger. It was just straight-up beautiful, with a healthy dose of mysticism thrown in for intrigue.

I highly recommend it to fans of Chinese folklore, mythology, and cultural beliefs in the afterlife, as well as fans of strong heroines, complicated romance, mystical journeys, historical fiction, and beautifully-developed environments.

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