The Ghost Bride

By Yangsze Choo

AUGUST 6, 2013 • 368 PAGES

3.6 Stars

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

In the Ghost Bride, Li Lan is approached by the Lim family with the proposal to marry their deceased son in order to placate his spirit. Of course, Li Lan’s family is destitute and the Lim family is wealthy, establishing the incentive for the proposal.

& while this is the hook that grabs you in the synopsis, the plot evolves into something much bigger than just a proposal, and readers are engulfed in the secret world of the dead.

I thoroughly enjoy the folklore in this novel, and the tradition of the ghost bride intrigues me. I learned much about Chinese/Taiwanese mythology and traditions. Choo’s writing is descriptive, scenic, and she wonderfully paints the mysterious world we all wonder about— the afterlife.

Li Lan, however, is a shallow protagonist. I found her immature, infuriating and impulsive with the way she views and approaches people, especially her love interests. I was also turned off by her subtle Eurocentric thoughts and comments. 

Overall, this is a great read for world-building and folklore but a mediocre read for the characterization and execution of the plot.

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