Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo

Good morning, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Yangsze Choo's fantastic debut, The Ghost Bride!

In the years following the death of her mother, Li Lan's family lost everything. She is of age to be married, but her family's dwindling position and her father's inattention has left Li Lan unwed and as yet unmatched. A wealthy local family has offered a strange and unique prospect, though. They want Li Lan to wed their only son... their dead son. The position of ghost bride would ensure Li Lan's care and keeping, but she has no desire to wed the dead Lim Tian Ching. Unfortunately, it seems Lim Tian Ching will not be so easily turned down. He begins haunting her dreams and even threatening her family. Li Lan tries to free herself of the unwanted attention but soon finds herself at risk of becoming a permanent part of the spirit world herself.

The legends of hungry ghosts and ghost brides have long been of interest to me. (Superstitions, folklore, and mythology of the world intrigue me in general and I'm a fairly superstitious person myself, so I'm sure I don't need the encouragement!) I was pretty darn stoked when The Ghost Bride arrived and I was even more excited to discover that the book lived up to my expectations as well.

Li Lan is haunted, she ends up having to live in a parallel world inhabited by spirits (and Choo's Plains of the Dead is especially fabulous!), then has to face secrets she discovers about her own family, all the while solving a bit of a mystery (multiple mysteries) before the end of The Ghost Bride. There are so many things to love about this book. The story does have a certain fairy tale quality as well, which I particularly enjoyed. Plus, Er Lang! No spoilers, but I'm a bit in love with his character!

In her debut, Yangsze Choo weaves a wonderful tale incorporating these and other elements of Malaya (Malaysia) and its culture (there's a great section in the back of the book outlining some of the different things she touches on throughout the story, too). I would go so far as to say that in a lot of ways Choo accomplishes the same magic of storytelling and mythology with this books as Helene Wecker did in her own debut, The Golem and the Jinni.

Rating: 5/5

To see more stops on the tour, check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Yangsze, visit her website here. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.


Tabitha (Pabkins) said...

Oh my freaking goodness! I didn't even realize this one was so ....otherworldly. I read the description and thought it was just going to be some sort of folklore contemporary period piece or something. I so need to scoop this up now!

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

So many of the reviews for this are so good - it's amazing that this is a debut novel!

Thanks for being on the tour.