The Ghost Bride

Choo, Yangsze

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Ghost Bride
"One evening, my father asked me if I would like to become a ghost bride..." Though ruled by British overlords, the Chinese of colonial Malaya still cling to ancient customs. And in the sleepy port town of Malacca, ghosts and superstitions abound. Li Lan, the daughter of a genteel but bankrupt family, has few prospects. But fate intervenes when she receives an unusual proposal from the wealthy and powerful Lim family. They want her to become a ghost bride for the family's only son, who recently died under mysterious circumstances. Rarely practiced, a traditional ghost marriage is used to placate a restless spirit. Such a union would guarantee Li Lan a home for the rest of her days, but at a terrible price. After an ominous visit to the opulent Lim mansion, Li Lan finds herself haunted not only by her ghostly would-be suitor, but also by her desire for the Lim's handsome new heir, Tian Bai. Night after night, she is drawn into the shadowy parallel world of the Chinese afterlife, with its ghost cities, paper funeral offerings, vengeful spirits and monstrous bureaucracy--including the mysterious Er Lang, a charming but unpredictable guardian spirit. Li Lan must uncover the Lim family's darkest secrets--and the truth about her own family--before she is trapped in this ghostly world forever.

Publisher: New York :, William Morrow,, [2013]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 0062227327
Characteristics: 362 pages ;,24 cm


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Mar 27, 2015
  • LPL_KateG rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Yangsze Choo immersed me in a spooky, dreamy, unfamiliar world, and I loved it. Readers who enjoy atmospheric historical fiction with a side of fantasy will find themselves sucked into this novel.

Jan 22, 2015
  • nidofito rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

An entertaining read that starts out with a bang and has a wonderfully satisfying ending.

Dec 22, 2014

This was a lovely, eerie tale, well-written and poetic. It was both a Chinese ghost story and the story of a woman trying to escape -- or come to terms with -- the narrow confines of her sheltered life.

The book drew me in, and while I was reading it I felt like I was in a bewitched dream of terror and magic. It was culturally interesting and full of rich, strange imagery. I really enjoyed it.

Oct 06, 2014
  • caxiong rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This book grabbed me from the very beginning! The idea of a girl becoming a "ghost bride" was very interesting and eerie to me. Coming from an Asian background all the elements used in this book kept me on my tip-toes! It will bring you into a new eerie world that will excite and intrigue you!

Jul 27, 2014
  • lizhelboe rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The Ghost Bride is a compelling story that takes the reader into the the eerie world of the Chinese afterlife. Li Lan is the only daughter of a once prominent family that has fallen into hard times. Her father approaches her to ask if she would consider becoming a ghost bride where she would marry the already deceased son of a wealthy family which would then guarantee her financial future. It is a well written book, full of detail and folklore. It reminded me of Peony in Love by Lisa See. The middle of the story drags a little but picks up in the end and overall was a very enjoyable read.

Jul 18, 2014
  • ScoobyFan rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The journey of Li Lan from the ghost bride proposal to her trip to the afterworld to her decision at the end was entertaining. The superstitions and the traditions of the culture were fascinating and I enjoyed the notes at the end giving a bit more explanation to the Malay-Chinese culture.

Aug 21, 2013
  • becker rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A young girl must enter the after life to get answers to some mysterious questions in order to save herself from becoming a Ghost Bride. It sounds a little hoaxy but it was quite a nice story filled with Chinese folklore and superstition. The girl comes upon a series of obstacles that she must overcome, and she begins to gain a better understanding of her situation and meets some interesting characters along the way. It keeps you guessing until the end.

Aug 20, 2013
  • amodolo rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This was a beautiful book, a very interesting story about love and what someone will do for it. This book has a lot of great Chinese mythology, and great twists that were intriguing. Loved the descriptions of the setting and everything seemed so real, a great debut novel!


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Jan 21, 2014
  • rem85 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

rem85 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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