Lady Tan's Circle of Women Book JacketLady Tan's Circle of Women by Lisa See (2023 fiction)

This is yet another well-researched historical novel by Lisa See. According to Confucius, “an educated woman is a worthless woman” but Tan Yunxian, born into an elite 15th century Chinese family, is raised by her grandparents to be of use. She learns medicine from her grandmother and the daughter of a midwife becomes her best friend. However, through an arranged marriage, she finds herself in a traditional family that denies her both her friend and her knowledge of medicine. How does she break free of tradition and go on to treat and serve many women and lead a life of much importance? This is a fascinating novel, full of information about early Chinese medicine and childbirth, as well as family relationships and traditions. The characters are completely lifelike and real, and the story is based on historical fact.

Reviewed by Ginger Russell