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USA Today

‘The Ghost Bride’ marries disparate plots beautifully

“…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.”

Kirkus Reviews

A Haunted Debut

“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.”

Asian Week

More Than Another Love Story

“A fascinating blend of Chinese mythology, romance, and murder mystery, The Ghost Bride is an eerily enchanting coming-of-age story that will captivate adults and teen readers alike.”

Book of the Week


“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.”

San Jose Mercury News

Impressive debut from Yangsze Choo

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

An August 2013 Indie Next List Pick – Wow! A BIG thank you to indie book sellers everywhere!

The Ghost Bride

“Set on the Malay Peninsula in the late 19th century, this debut novel tells the story of Li Lan, whose father promises her in marriage to the recently deceased son of a wealthy local family as a means of discharging his considerable debt. When the dead son begins visiting Li Lan in her dreams, she becomes increasingly desperate to escape him. After an accidental overdose of a sleeping draught separates her soul from her body, Li Lan must navigate the world of the dead with the aid of two allies — Fan and Er Lang — neither of whom are what they appear to be. Full of danger, romance, and eerie beauty, this is the tale of a young girl’s quest to find her own destiny and choose love over duty.” —Billie Bloebaum, Powell’s Books at PDX, Portland, OR

Good Housekeeping: August 2013 New Book Picks – my mum is a die-hard Good Housekeeping fan and I couldn’t wait to tell  her this!

“A captivating love triangle with echoes of traditional Asian myths.”


Glamour Magazine: 2013 Summer Beach Read

(I can’t believe my book is in Glamour! So inspired to be more glamorous myself – I think I hear a new pair of shoes calling my name!)

Glamour Beach Reads

Publisher’s Weekly Review

The Ghost Bride

In her debut novel, Choo tells the unlikely story of a young Chinese woman who marries a dead man. No, this is not a tale of vampires or zombies, but of an ancient custom among the Chinese in Malaysia called “spirit marriage.” Set in 1893 colonial Malacca, the novel follows 17-year-old Li Lan, who, like other young women her age, hopes for a lucky and prosperous marriage. The wealthy Lim family’s proposal seems to be a great stroke of luck—until Li discovers that their son, Lim Tian Ching, is already dead, stricken by fever months ago. Li’s father refuses the offer, but even the prospect of marriage forces her to confront the fact that she and her father are in danger of losing the comfortable middle-class life they once enjoyed. Madam Lim presses her case during the day, Lim Tian haunts Li’s dreams from the afterlife, and she pines for another suitor altogether—Lim’s cousin Tian Bai. When Li falls ill, she plunges into the world of the Chinese afterlife, complete with ghost cities, servants, and its own bureaucracy. 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. Agent: Jenny Bent, Bent Agency. (Aug.)

Library Journal: A Barbara’s Pick for August 2013

Barbara’s Picks, Aug. 2013, Pt. 4: Ghost Brides, 1700s Debauchery, and a Trip to Calcutta

…Romance, folklore, intrigue, and a mysterious guardian spirit to boot—what more can you ask for? A big debut novel with a 75,000-copy first printing and a reading group guide.

A post from my literary agent, Jenny Bent, about my journey to publication 

It’s Really NOT About Who You Know

I think there’s an idea floating around out there that you have to “know someone” to get an agent, or meet one at a conference, or somehow be connected. But the truth is that about 50% of my clients have come to me completely cold–via an unsolicited query letter… (read more)

Publisher’s Weekly:

Deals: Week of April 30, 2012 By Rachel Deahl | Apr 30, 2012

Morrow Gets Hitched with Choo Agent Jenny Bent, who owns the Bent Agency, sold North American rights, for six figures at auction, to Yangsze Choo’s debut novel, The Ghost Bride. Rachel Kahan at Morrow acquired the book, which recently sold to Bonnier’s Hot Key Books imprint in the U.K. The novel, Bent said, is set in the 1890s and is a “literary ghost story” about a woman who is asked to marry a dead man. Bent said the main character is “caught between the world of the living and the Chinese afterlife” and “must uncover her dead suitor’s secrets before she is forced to become his spirit bride.”

Hot Key in the UK will publish a Young Adult/Crossover version.

The Bookseller

Hot Key proposes Ghost Bride

04.05.12 | Katie Allen

Hot Key Books has acquired a YA novel about a young woman whose fiancé is a ghost.

The publisher acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in Yangsze Choo’s The Ghost Bride from Hellie Ogden at Greene & Heaton on behalf of Jenny Bent at The Bent Agency. Hot Key will publish in paperback in August 2013.

The Ghost Bride tells the story of Li Lan, a young Chinese woman who lives in 1890s Malaya. She receives a proposal from the wealthy Lim family to marry their dead son. Soon her dreams are haunted by her betrothed.

Publisher Emily Thomas, said: “The Ghost Bride is one of those all-too rare novels that sends a genuine shiver down the spine.”

Choo is a fourth generation Malaysian of Chinese descent who lives in the US.

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