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Synopsis

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.

Book Reviews

The Ghost Bride
Average rating
3.9 / 5
Ghost bride
December 3rd, 2015
Good read, enjoyed imagery of plains of dead. Well thought out plot, characters were sufficiently developed and still ambiguous to make me want to keep reading and find out what more happens to them. Morbid to know people actually married to ghosts in order to placate them. How does someone keep a poltergeist happy?
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1 review
Light and Sweet
October 16th, 2015
An easy read with some darker undertones. Very well put together despite the author's rush at the end.
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1 review
Ghost Bride
August 6th, 2015
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
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1 review
Did not finish
May 27th, 2015
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.
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1 review
Fantastic, educational, exciting!
May 24th, 2015
I couldn't stop reading to find out what would happen next. A unique story with excellent characters.
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1 review
Entertaining
May 15th, 2015
Sort of like a grownup spirited away. Full of intrigue and spirits, with a strong heroine. Great read!
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1 review
Wow! Well worth it!
May 14th, 2015
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.
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
LOVELY!
May 7th, 2015
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.
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1 review
Historical Ghost Story
March 25th, 2015
I fairly enjoyed this haunting tale. Little long but full of historical reference. The ending surprised me. Good read.
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1 review
Fascinating
January 19th, 2015
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.
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1 review
Enjoyable
July 16th, 2014
Enjoyable weekend read with some interesting facts about Asian culture but dry and slow in places
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1 review
March 4th, 2014
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!
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1 review
Amazing
February 10th, 2014
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.
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1 review
Wendy
February 7th, 2014
O Loved this book , however I feel that there should be more written about the mysterious dragon :)
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1 review
February 3rd, 2014
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.
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1 review
The Ghost Bride
January 28th, 2014
Great book, kept me on the edge right to the end.
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1 review
January 26th, 2014
Beautiful, evocative prose. The dream-like narrative takes the reader on a journey that will not be soon forgotten.
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1 review
January 25th, 2014
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.
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
Great book. This book focused more on the history, the superstition and traditional beliefs of Malaya.
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
This book was a rich, magical ride from start to finish . I devoured it in one sitting.
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
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
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
I really enjoyed this unique story, delves into the afterlife and cultural belief of how it may look in a creative way. Beautifully written, not too heavy....well worth reading.
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
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.
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
This book was a really interesting and page-turning, I could not put it down! The characters really came alive for me, and I felt attached and drawn to them very quickly. The writing style of the author is very descriptive and pulls you into the plot line, with vivid details that make the scenes come alive. I'm really hoping to a possible continuation of this, or least more writing from her.
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
Best book I've read in a long time. I lost myself in the story and didn't want to put it down!
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
Very original story that reminded me of the anime Spirited Away. The story has good pacing throughout most of the book but there were times when I wished she wrote more about certain people or scenes. I bought this on a whim and was certainly not disappointed.
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1 review
January 22nd, 2014
A great book, beautifully written and paced with characters with real depth ... I (literally) couldn't put it down!
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1 review
2 of 2 people found this helpful
Naive & Laggy Story...
November 7th, 2013
Sorry but this was NOT one of my fav books. Story was told from the point of view of a young adult so it came across very naive & laggy. Topic was interesting (the Asian belief system regarding the afterlife) but over-all, not a story I'd recommend.
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1 review
October 4th, 2013
Great read however the middle was a bit drawn out
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1 review
2 of 2 people found this helpful
Disappointing
September 28th, 2013
While the book was technically well written, I felt very little connection or attachment to the characters. I can't say that I would recommend it to a friend.
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1 review

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