The undertaking of lily chen in the mountains of northern china ancient custom demands that every man have a wife to keep him company in the afterlife deshi lis brother is dead and unmarried which means that deshi must find him an eligible body before the week is up. The undertaking of lily chen by danica novgorodoff has a title with a double meaning undertaking as in an important or difficult task or venture and also undertaking as it relates to funerals and the procedures of burial the plot is driven by the folk custom of corpse brides which novgorodoff explains via an epigraph quote from the economist and then expands with a chinese history as the story begins the hero deshi needs a female body to provide a bride for his dead brother . In the undertaking of lily chen the hero is supposed to murder the heroine so she can be a ghost bride for his dead brother lily chens parents are pressuring her to marry or perhaps just prostitute for the man who holds the lease on the family farm lily escapes with deshi who is then torn between killing her to be his brothers bride and marrying her himself its supposed to . Title the undertaking of lily chen author danica novgorodoff language english reading level interest age ages 15 and up isbn 9781596435865 new york first second 2014 429 pages readers annotation what would you do if you killed your own brother and your parents sent you to find a bride to accompany him in the afterlife plot
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