Set in China in the late 1800’s, The Secret Language of Women tells the story of star-crossed lovers, Zhou Bin Lian, a Eurasian healer, and Giacomo Scimenti, an Italian sailor, driven apart by the Boxer Rebellion.
When Lian is seventeen years old, she accompanies her Swiss father, Dr. Gianluca Brasolin, fluent in Italian, to tend the Italian ambassador, at the Summer Palace of Empress Dowager, where she meets and falls in love with Giacomo.
Through voyage and adventure, their love intensifies, but soon is severed by Lian’s dutiful promise as the wife to another. Forbidden from pursuing her chosen profession as a healer, and despised because she does not have bound feet, she is forced to work in a cloisonné factory while her in-laws raise her daughter, Ya Chen. It is in Nushu, the women’s secret writing, that she chronicles her life and her hopes for the future.
Rebelling against the life forced upon her, she empowers herself to act out against the injustice and becomes the master of her own destiny. But her quest for freedom comes at a costly price: The life of someone close to her, lost in a raging typhoon, a grueling journey to the Yun-kang Caves, and a desperate search for beauty and love in the midst of brutality.
My Rating: 5 stars
The Secret Language of Women is a powerful and enchanting read. A brilliantly well-written tale that takes readers on one woman’s journey. For fans of Romeo and Juliet this is a must read. The entire novel is told from Zhou Bin Lian’s point of view. I found it highly interesting to see things from an a smart, beautiful, and determined young Chinese woman. The story from eyes, makes readers feel like they are indeed right there with her while everything is happening. The most exciting or shall I say turning point is when she meets Giacomo for the first time. Loss, love, and duty all can be found in this masterpiece by Nina Romano.
Readers will fall for Zhou Bin Lian and for her lover, Giacomo. No matter what efforts the lovers put together fate always has a way of keeping them apart. Not only is the love kept pulled away but also, a rich culture comes to life, when reading these pages. Readers will also love how every chapter teaches them a little bit of the Chinese language. Sadness takes over Zhou Bin Lian’s heart, where she has lost many loved ones. Her mother, then her father, and then an unexpected death will occur. Tugging at readers’ hearts, The Secret Language of Women, is a vibrant and earth shattering novel. I would highly recommend this to fans of The Fault in Our Stars. This intriguing and heartbreaking story will capture the hearts of many just like that famous movie. Overall, I loved reading Nina Romano’s stunning piece, and I recommend it to readers world wide.