The Ghost Bride
by Yangsze Choo
Progress: 132 of 360 pages (37%)
We walked on thus for a little way, I pleading while he paid me no heed. A muscle twitched in the corner of his eye, but otherwise he behaved as though I didn't exist. At last I stood in the street and bawled like a child, the tears leaking through my clenched fists and my nose dribbling unceremoniously onto my blouse.
For some reason, the above paragraph from the book had a strong enough impact to give me a sad visual that tugged at my heartstrings. But I guess to understand why, I'd have to clarify:
Some possible spoilers ahead. But if I were to be honest, nothing is really given away of the book and its secrets.
Basically, our main character, Li Lan is wandering the living plain in spirit form. She is neither dead nor alive and is kind of suspended in between, unable to return to her body. As she tries to return to her home, she finds that the ox-headed border patrol are guarding her entrance, waiting for her to return. When Old Wong, her family's old cook emerges from the house, she follows him, realizing that he can see her, but he makes an obvious display of ignoring her.
I'm not sure why this passage stood out to me. But it did and it made me feel a bit saddened for Li Lan's current plight. Except that in the bigger scheme of things, she has a whole lot more to worry about than a familiar household cook not even looking at her when she so direly needs someone to see her.
Anyway, the progression of The Ghost Bride is actually quite slow going for me right now. Don't get me wrong, though, because I find the premise intriguing and the writing extremely beautiful. It just seems like it's taking a bit of time for the conflict to manifest, and now it's taking more time even for me to even understand where the book itself is truly headed.
Nonetheless, this book has it's hauntingly lovely factors, from descriptions of homes, people, and the dream world and the spirit world. And while I hadn't really expected as much, there is a slight touch of horror underlying all the talk of ghostly beings from the hungry ghosts, to Lim Tian Ching's behavior, to the ox-headed demon patrols.