Albert Einstein wrote that the separation between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion. This idea is at play in Lisa See’s novel Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. The narrator is an old woman who looks back and concludes that she has waged a “battle between my true nature and the person I should have been.” Her story is infused with observations that come as a surprise to her (and the reader). By blending the past, the present, and emerging insights, she creates a new way of experiencing events from long ago for the first time.
Lisa See, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2005), 3.