Peony In Love was a really good book, very well written and filled with the all of the drama, conflict, and beautiful prose you would expect from a novel by Lisa See. I read Shanghai Girls and Dreams of Joy before this one, and it was interesting to recall some of the reviews I read before I purchased the aforementioned books. So many people thought Peony was See's best book, and that Shanghai Girls and Dreams of Joy fell short.
This book is listed as a romance, but I would beg to differ. I don't want to give any spoilers, but the main character does perish in the beginning of the book, and spends the rest of book as a ghost who watches over the man she loved in life. There are some moments, such as the description of foot binding: the process, the smells, the painful agony of the practice, and the erotic pleasure men received from it, that I wish I never read. See details them so well that the idea of it all kept me up at night, making me feel sick.
The story itself is very solid, and if you're not squeamish and don't mind the heaviness of literary fiction, then by all means you should pick it up. It is rich with history, and as I mentioned before, fine prose.
Liz R. Newman, Author of An Affinity for Shadows