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The Ghost Bride


“It is safe to say that this is Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away for adultsit’s that good.” ( review)


Sample, listen or buy

August 2013, William Morrow/HarperCollins (US) and Hot Key Books (UK)
Carnegie Medal nominee’s Book of the Week
Indie Next List pick
Barnes & Noble Fall ‘13 Discover Great New Writers selection
Goodreads Choice Award Finalist for Best Fantasy
Glamour Magazine 2013 Beach Read
Good Housekeeping Magazine Book Pick
The Bookseller Editor’s Pick
Library Journal Barbara’s Pick

One evening,
my father asked me if I would
like to become a ghost bride…

Li Lan, a young Chinese woman, lives in 1890s colonial Malaya with her quietly ruined father, who returns one evening with a proposition — the fabulously wealthy Lim family want Li Lan to marry their son. The only problem is, he’s dead.

After a fateful visit to the opulent Lim mansion, Li Lan finds herself haunted not only by her ghostly would-be suitor, but also by her desire for the Lim’s handsome new heir, Tian Bai. Night after night, she is drawn into the shadowy parallel world of the Chinese afterlife, with its ghost cities, paper funeral offerings, vengeful spirits and monstrous bureaucracy. Li Lan must uncover the Lim family’s darkest secrets, before she is trapped in this ghostly world forever.

“Choo’s clear and charming style creates an alternate reality where the stakes are just as high as in the real world, combining grounded period storytelling with the supernatural.”
Publishers Weekly

“The Ghost Bride begins as a historical novel but takes an unexpected turn into a fantastical, ghost-and-murder mystery. What makes all this work is the sumptuous world of Chinese émigré culture and the love story that flows under it all—the kind so full of longing, the pages practically sigh as you turn each one.”’s Book of the Week

“…from whodunit to ghost story to coming-of-age to romance, there is enough plot to fill several more novels. But the beguiling tale of Li Lan navigating both the land of the dead and the territory of her own heart makes you hope Choo is the author who writes all of them.” 
USA Today

“‘The Ghost Bride’, an impressive first novel, takes readers on one of the wildest rides since Alice fell down the rabbit hole.” San Jose Mercury News

“This first foray into novel writing was worth the wait—The Ghost Bride is a sublime and mysterious page-turner, full of intrigue and the complications of life on earth and beyond.” Kirkus feature

“Choo’s fascinating debut . . . rich in Chinese folklore, mores and the supernatural…intriguing and enlightening. A haunting debut.” Kirkus Reviews

“Choo’s remarkably strong and arresting first novel…is sure to garner much well-deserved attention.” Booklist

Read the first chapter, or hear the audio version!


Updates on my writing journey:

What to Eat if Your Book is Nominated for an Award?

So What Do Authors Wear, Anyway?

Recording My Audio Book (and hear the first chapter!)

Doing Author-Type Things

A Visit to My Publisher

What is a Bound Proof Anyway?

125 Comments Post a comment
  1. ivy #

    I just started reading your book, The ghost Bride and I am already half way through. I love it so far! I don’t think anyone has written anything like it and it was a total surprise to me when I actually found out that this whole Ghost Bride thing was real. I hope you continue to write more amazing books and I can tell you I will be reading every one of them.

    March 1, 2014
    • Hi Ivy,

      Thank you so much – I’m so glad you’re enjoying it and I hope you enjoy the ending too! ;)

      March 4, 2014
  2. Martha #

    HELLO!!!!! . Hi i just finished The ghost bride and I just want to say it was fantastic and amazing, I love that element of culture in there and I’m just wondering do you plan on making it a series. I’m a sucker for series, sorry. (Sorry if someone is reading this and it becomes a spoiler to them oops.)because I was expecting it for her to be with Tian Bai. I never expected her to go with Er Lang, so i guess i would have been finishing the book with a big smile and re read it again. except she ended up with Er lang who i didn’t count on it, I was really surprised when he gave her a choice to be with him. because in my head he was like the best friend….. anyway just to some it up the ending of the book had me baffled and wondering what happened between, them….. (hoping another book) If i ever see new books from you i very much will be reading it in the corner of my classroom.

    March 28, 2014
    • Hi Martha,

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it, and yes, the ending could have gone several different ways! ;) I’m currently working on a different book, but am open to writing a sequel – it would be fun to find out what happens next to Li Lan. :)

      April 2, 2014
  3. Kristen #

    Dear Ms. Choo,

    Thank you so very much for The Ghost Bride and for your wonderful writing. The characters are simply delightful… and have this middle-aged wife and mother wishing for more of Li Lan’s story (accompanied by Er Lang, of course).

    All the best to you on your current project(s)! :)


    March 28, 2014
    • Dear Kristen,

      Gosh, that’s very kind of you! I’m so happy you enjoyed the book (and Er Lang was one of my favourite characters to write)! Thank you :)

      April 2, 2014
  4. paoaht #

    I loved it! It was captivating. I finished reading it in a day. I love the ending and wish there was a sequel. :) Li Lan and Er Lang made my heart flutter. Beautiful story!!

    April 4, 2014
    • Thank you so much – I’m very happy that you enjoyed it! :)

      April 13, 2014
  5. Zahida #

    Thank you for the wonderful story of Li Lan, I deeply enjoyed the book and was left wanting for more. I cannot imagine what other ideas you may have for books but I would more than love to read them, as I became enamored with the characters, specially Er Lang. I wish and wait anxiously for the sequel. The night of sleep I traded for the emotion and excitement of finishing your book was well worth it. It was so refreshing and captivating to read about the culture you in which the story was set, I cannot recall reading such a good book for the longest time, coupled with the fact the Chinese traditions weaved within the story added enormously to the charm, I cannot express the intrigue and curiosity to know more about this world Li Lan will live between worlds and the adventuress that await her and her new found lover. Thank you again for the wonderful reading :)

    April 10, 2014
    • Hi Zahida,

      I’m so honored that you stayed up to read this book (though I hope you managed to catch up on your sleep later)! Thank you for your kind words – I’m delighted that the book was interesting to you, and will try my best to keep on writing. ;)

      April 13, 2014
  6. Halley #

    I am really hoping you decide to turn this into a series. I loved this book so much and I’m eager to find out what happens to Li Lan and Er Lang!

    April 13, 2014

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