Can't believe I'm already on my 5th book! Bagi seseorang whose reading history memang tak impressive langsung, this, is something. And by now, I am already halfway through. I was ding-dong-ing between Cinta Sang Ratu (I need to read Bagaikan Puteri first), Inspector Singh: Bali Conspiracy Most Foul (nope, too much.. Singh overdose kang), Three Cups of Tea (tak sabar but I decided not to, yet) and alas, The Concubine's Daughter.
The book comes in two parts i.e. The Children of The Moon and The Red Lotus. Nak baca part 2, kena graduate baca Part 1 okey. This book is Chinese equivalent to Japanese's Memoirs of A Geisha.
Part 1 is about the life of Li-Xia, before she was even born until the day she took her life away. Like her mother, she was free spirited, full of will which translated into stubborness and percepted as wild child. She was born in the time where lotus feet (which were hardly 3 inches long, can you imagine how a 6-sizer like me have to endure in order for the bone to snap and flex into 3 inches.. not to mention the process of binding and soaking in hot solution.. ouchh!!) were much sought after. Not forgetting to mention that lotus feet were associated as being sexure allure as well as, 1 death in every 10 as a result of infection.
I think we have enough of that lotus feet already, now haven't we?
Back to Li-Xia, her life started bad even when she first saw the world, by being a female. Her mother, who thought Li-Xia was burried alive seconds after birth, took her life away. Li-Xia, who was thought as having fox-fairy as guardian, cheated death twice as an infant. She, then was sold to a silk factory where she found happiness despite constant hardwork. When she was of suitable age, she was sent to the silk factory master to serve him as concubine but she fled, which later caused her death sentence. She then escaped another death when an european saved her. Despite all odds, they got married and got isolated since mix-marriage were not approved amongst the society, regardless the class. Long story cut short (hey, sila baca sendiri okay), she took her life moments after her child is born.
I'm not done with my part 2 yet so I can't say much yet. It revolves around Red Lotus, Li-Xia's daughter who was separated from her parents at birth. She was taught martial arts and was on the journey of finding her father.
This book conveys the plots well. The descriptions, more often than not, are always vivid. The kind that makes you shiver upon reading bathing in cold clear stream or makes you hunger for steaming hot congee with salted egg, dished out with a bit of scallion!
I'll tell more once I'm done with it. Maybe in a day or two.
More info on Lotus Feet here. Gruesome, I'd say.
Kakak asked, what is this? (referring to the book's tittle) Cucumber's daughter? Nope, read carefully, it's concubine. What is concubine? Err....