The Ghost Bride is the debut novel of Yangsze Choo, published in 2014, is a Chinese folklore fiction novel and is Vaginal Fantasy book clubs main read for the month of June.
Li Lan, the daughter of a respectable Chinese family, spends her time studying and hoping for a good marriage but due to her father’s poor financial state there are no such offers. The Lim family, whose son died recently under suspicious circumstances, asks Li Lan to be his ghost bride in the hopes of appeasing his spirit. While the marriage would assure Li Lan and her family are taken care of the price is one she is unwilling to pay. Li Lan is pulled into the Chinese afterlife here she uncovers many secrets in a whirlwind attempt to find her own happiness.
I sometimes shop for books in a shallow manor, meaning that I chose by cover or title without always reading what the book is about. From the cover I might have given the book a perusing but from the title I would have assumed it wasn’t for me. I would have been very wrong, and missed on a really good book. I loved reading The Ghost Bride very much; it was hard to put down. I loved the world, the folklore, the characters, and the story.
The world building is very well done, you feel like you are in Malaysia. The folklore is kept to well and the after world is well created too. The writing is natural with and nice flow which makes it even easy to fall into the story and not want to put it down. I don’t love or dislike the main character Li Lan, she is a wall flower type character but does find herself as the story processes which made me like her. I disliked Lim Tian Ching, which is to be expected. Less expected is that I did not like Tian Bai, I liked him a bit in the beginning but as the story went by that lessened. I loved Er Lang from the beginning and only grew to love him more.
I loved reading The Ghost Bride; it was spirited, and intriguing with a wonderful view on Chinese folklore. I look forward to reading more works from Choo, and would love for there to be a novel continuing Li Lan and Er Lang’s story.
If you are interested in novels that stay true to cultural folklore then I definitely recommend The Ghost Bride.
Now go forth, read accurate folklore novels, and prosper.