I absolutely loved Peony in Love. I read Snowflower and The Secret Fan by Lisa See a while ago and found it fascinating. I was not disappointed with Peony either.
The story was heartfelt and I really got into the characters. The plot took a turn I was not expecting, but I found it couldn't have been any other way. The perspective the story was told from was necessary to teach the characters the lessons they learned.
This book was great for me to read. Even though I am not from that culture, there was still things I learned as a soon-be-wife. The biggest lesson for me was that love comes in 3 forms. Mental, sexual and 'deep-heart'. I never thought of it that way, but I see that those three ways to love are so important. If we are missing one, we are not fully loving with all our being.
****Spoilers Below ****
Peony grew through the book and I was amazed. She went from a pretty girl that was in love to a good wife in their culture. She learned more as a ghost after she died than I think she ever would have while alive. She got to witness and grow with her two sister-wives far more than she would have if she had married Ren herself.
My heart wrenched for her while she roamed, but the worst was with her ancestor tablet. I kept wondering when it would be dotted so she could finally rest.