Wishlist Wednesday: The Ghost Bride

10:10 Cilla P 0 Comments

"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.

This has been on my TBR for... a year, maybe? I'm really keen on reading it, but never got around to finding a copy. As I've mentioned somewhere on this blog earlier, lately I've been craving books that are set to a cultural background other than American or European. I want to read this book because I have a Chinese background. While my family doesn't practice the ancient customs discussed in this book, we still do paper funeral offerings. My relatives still burn money, paper cars (complete with the chauffeur), and lay out a meal when we visit our grandparents' graves - all to ensure that our grandparents are comfortable in the afterlife. Our knowledge about the tradition is patchy, but the superstitions live on.

It'll be fascinating to read about these Chinese customs. Add romance and supernatural touches to that, and this sounds exactly like the kind of book I will enjoy.


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