The Ghost Bride Is More Than Another Love Story

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An undiscerning eye might mistake the book for chick lit. But those who have read Yangsze Choo’s debut novel will know what I mean when I say “just another love story” is everything The Ghost Bride is not. An unmistakable profundity lands this exotic fable in a class of its own. In a fascinating blend of Chinese mythology, romance, and murder mystery, The Ghost Bride is an eerily enchanting coming-of-age story that will captivate adults and teen readers alike.

The story is set in the 1890s. Despite British colonization, Malaysia remains immersed in an amalgam of ancient superstitions. And in the secluded town of Malacca, an attractive young girl of genteel background named Li Lan is forced to consider ghost marriage following her family’s bankruptcy. The proposal comes from none other than the rich and powerful Lim family.

Ghost marriage is an increasingly rare folk tradition held to appease a restless spirit. A living maiden weds a deceased man and becomes a ghost bride, living the life of a widow in the husband’s family. Although Li Lan is aware the marriage will settle her family debts and allow her to regain a respectable social status, she declines and thinks nothing of it.

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