Falsely accused of murder, Xiang Xiang's father is executed, and her mother forced into a Buddhist nunnery. Xiang Xiang, alone and friendless at thirteen years old, is tricked into entering the Peach Blossom Pavilion, where she is given the name Bao Lan – Precious Orchid.
There she is trained in the fine arts of womanhood, studying music, literature, painting, and more importantly, the art of seduction and pleasuring men; and becomes one of China’s most successful courtesans.
However, Precious Orchid is determined to avenge her parents and sets out on a journey that includes passion, adventure, danger, fame, and finally, her chance to achieve the justice she has sought so long.
When I saw that Peach Blossom Pavilion was available on NetGalley I decided to request a copy as it sounded like something a little different to my recent reads.
The story begins with an old woman recounting a story to her great granddaughter and her fiance which turns out to be her own interesting life story.
As a thirteen year old Xiang Xiang's life is turned upside down when her father was wrongly convicted of murder and was executed leaving her mother and herself penniless. With seemingly no other option her mother decides to enter a buddhist nunnery and is tricked into handing over her daughter into a life of prostitution.
I really enjoyed the first half of the story hearing how Xiang Xiang, or Precious Orchid as she is now called, adapted into her new life in the Peach Blossom Pavilion. Taken under the wing of Pearl, Xiang Xiang is schooled in the art of seduction via traditions, music, arts and of course the art of pleasuring men. One day she plans to escape and avenge her father's death, she just needs to raise the money and find out a way...
But for me my attention waned after her escape from the brothel to try and find her mother and her father's killer as she stumbled from one drama to another which seemed to take forever to reach its conclusion.
I'm glad that I did decide to read this book but it's certainly not one that I would pick up and read again.