Higher Level Wife

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For an ordinary working woman to transmigrate into the body of an official wife of a nobleman, described by the emperor as ‘peerless talent’, life should be good, right?

Too bad the official wife was an eyesore to this handsome ‘peerless talent’ husband. Hated as a political chess piece that prevented the dear husband from taking his true sweetheart as the official wife, she was universally despised by the entire family and was tossed into a corner of the inner court to fend for herself.

If that’s not enough, this scum man also tossed a pair of unloved children born of some lowbred woman he had accidentally xxx with into her miserably poor courtyard.

Thus, she was set on a course of self-destruction…

Or so everyone thought.

Instead of self-destruction, this is the time to hone one’s self-sustaining skills!

We are far away from the inner court battles and our face is an eyesore to everyone. So, let’s just spend our leisurely days shut away from the world! Our transmigrator is very satisfied with the lifestyle of an abandoned wife.

Only…

Father of these children, why are you here?

Poking your nose into our private paradise after five years, just what do you think you’re doing!?

Humph!

Children, it’s time to defend our corner of paradise!

Associated Names
One entry per line
妻高一筹
Related Series
N/A
Recommendations
The Feast (2)
Transmigrator Meets Reincarnator (1)
Transmigrated into a Parvenu’s Ex-wife in the ‘90s (1)
Ancient Foodie Survival Guide (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. I search for more long novels
  2. Strong FLs
  3. Still haven't read
  4. Good stories
  5. Para leer.

Latest Release

Date Group Release
12/25/23 Kitchennovel c231
12/19/23 Kitchennovel c230 part2
12/19/23 Kitchennovel c230 part1
12/19/23 Kitchennovel c229 part2
12/19/23 Kitchennovel c229 part1
12/19/23 Kitchennovel c228
12/12/23 Kitchennovel c227
12/12/23 Kitchennovel c226
12/05/23 Kitchennovel c225
12/05/23 Kitchennovel c224
12/05/23 Kitchennovel c223
12/05/23 Kitchennovel c222
12/05/23 Kitchennovel c221
11/28/23 Kitchennovel c220
11/28/23 Kitchennovel c219
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27 Reviews sorted by


Gumihou
Gumihou rated it
November 16, 2021
Status: c258
Hello, translator here.

I thought I'd give my two cents on why this story is worth reading.

Please note that I, Gumihou, am not one to shy away from dropping a translation if I don't like a novel. Thus, this is a sincere review of the story.

... more>> First, the reason why I picked this up is because White Pear Blossom herself said that this story is an upgraded version of The Feast, which I love and the reason why I got into translating.

Sure, there are elements of cliche and overly OP Male Leads as well as annoying people planted in the story just for face slapping purposes. However, aren't those the very reason why we like a story?

Reasons why I like this story:

Strong female character

Fu Qiuning is a pragmatic person from the modern era with her own skills. As of chapter 1, it is revealed that she's a teacher of traditional Chinese opera singing for children. This hinted at her background for culture, organisation skills, skills with children and ability to survive laterally in the niche society of opera singing.

Her main advantage is inheriting the original Fu Qiuning's memories and abilities. I like that she maintains a cautious and conservative attitude instead of hopping around to change things willy nilly.

Minute Details

Laugh if you will but there's a reason why Chinese people are stereotypically good at math and calculation. For me, the charm of the story is how the women scrimp and save and do their best to stretch their coins. To be properly calculative, we need details. Hence we have details on paper, ink, inkstones, land width, types of trees, types of plants, stuff found in abandoned drawers etc. After all, if you're thrown into an unknown world without a means to support yourself, doesn't it make sense to properly inventory everything you have before making plans?

The details provided by the author highlighted what a noble household consider as 'poor' vs what a modern person consider 'poor'. The clash of culture between the noble rich vs pragmatic modern made the novel more interesting and shows the care of the author in world-building effort. Also, the issue of money as a means and money as a way to grease one's path is likely to appear in the future and I look forward to how money will be treated in the story.

The Local ML

Hate the ML or love the ML. I will not defend the ML for his action of not caring for his two children. However, he is very much the product of his society. It would have been even more hateful to see a caring, loving ML who is 'completely different' from the rest of his feudal China family, fall in love at first sight and has no harem (or forgets he has one) on the grounds that 'he's the ML'. For me, it's more interesting to see a 'local product' and observe the culture clash between modern MC vs the Locals.

MC is bound to influence those close to her and I'm interested to see these changes. The epic romance (?) between MC and ML is not quite as interesting since that line of story had been explored hundreds of thousands of times in other novels.

The Harem

The reason for obtaining the harem is interesting, and the treatment of the women in the novel is both despicable and accurate. Just because something is not in line with our modern senses does not mean it is not real. I like the fact that the author takes time to recreate the world where women are treated as mere tools and the struggles both men and women go through to obtain love, security, safety and political favours despite very real and existing troubles. In short, the author has created a world that is glittering on the outside and filled with subtle rottenness underneath. It's not pretty and it could be ugly. However, this novel attempts to push the story closer to reality than The Feast. This is probably why the author considers this novel to be superior to The Feast, which hinges more on comedy while this one tries to move closer to reality.

Personally, I'd like to invite everyone to explore this story with me and not to MTL it as a lot of details are lost if you do that. <<less
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chekanalia
chekanalia rated it
October 19, 2021
Status: --
I went to a mtl website and read part of it.... and then I got furious. I had to drop the damn thing. Its the same problem of a scumbag ML who is whitewashed and forgiven and MC, who looked to be a brain turns around and ends up with this POS. I tell myself that there is politics involved and that is why he was so cold to her but what did the twins do? I skipped a couple of chapters and what rings true to me is that... more>> MC states clearly that he is " a feudal dross macho" and still she doesnt make her own way. I'd excuse it if the author didnt keep emphasizing she was a 21st century woman and then she brain farts and @#$%^🤷 <<less
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7starkiller99
7starkiller99 rated it
November 5, 2021
Status: c9
Novel already not advised to read.

Mere 9 chapters in and the story for this female MC has already had has tons of issues:

... more>>
Spoiler

Fang Quining (The Mc) has 0 sympathy for the original female host who committed su*cide due to her horrid life. She has been continuously defending the bastard scumbag husband who frankly had ruined the original female host's life. Even before marrying her and a few other women, the guy had drunk s*x with a (mtl) laundry woman, who gave birth to a boy and girl twins. This scum guy let these children be physically abused and starve. Then the author is worried we won't like the scumbag so has him scold his manservant for not taking enough care of them, as if this makes everything better. Meanwhile the MC keeps praising the scum guy to her servants and waxing on and on about how she loves this ancient world and her poverty. The two abandoned children mentioned earlier are of course super geniuses who love the MC after she treats them like people. MC says that she'll stay away from the husband guy but immediately converses with him for some time.

[collapse]

It's an unpleasant start and definitely seems like it will only get worse.

There are also a lot of minor details that are rather ridiculous like MC picking up Golden hairpins in abandoned books or husband guy really liking how MC puts up some flowers. MC also acts OOC all over the place.

-300bil/10 garbage. <<less
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livethelife
livethelife rated it
December 28, 2022
Status: c101
So annoying, why does this translator have to put their own opinion in the middle of the translation, and changing everything, deleting whole paragraphs because they don't agree with the author's way of writing or what the characters are doing or thinking, and even starting and finishing chapters with comments saying how disgusting it was to read it.

Hello, can you allow me to enjoy this story translator? I want to decide for myself if the story is good or not. It's ok to know you don't like it but only... more>> at the end of the chapter, don't ruin the f*ck*ng mood for us.

I can't believe they even totally changed whole paragraphs adding things to their liking and then, deleted more paragraphs.

And we all know that due to the translation notes, which include some of the deleted information and the real meaning in the paragraphs and how they censored FL because, for example, they didn't like that FL was showing loyalty to ML, and as they hate ML, they changed that part to their liking.

There is no way not to know how much they hate ML at this point, with so many comments criticizing him IN THE MIDDLE OF THE f*ck*ING CHAPTERS! <<less
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zetnnik
zetnnik rated it
December 19, 2022
Status: c92
I can't. I just can't. I had to drop the story. The story is fine, but the translator/editor! OMG! S/he likes to include his/her comments in the body of the translated text and almost always they are snarky, judgmental comments. And if I remember correctly, they even changed or omitted some passages in order to "eliminate the white-washing of the ML" -- so, does that mean that what we were reading wasn't what the writer actually wrote?

It's a freakin' historical romance set in ancient China where harems/multiple wives and concubines... more>> are part of the culture -- the translator is applying his/her modern values and beliefs on the ML and hating on him. These comments tend to ruin the experience for the readers. (Why are you even translating the story?) Please, allow the readers to form their own opinions and not shove yours down their throats. Or, if you must share your opinions and comments, please put them at the end of the chapter and give the readers the option to read or not read them. A translator is just like a news reporter -- just reporting the news. A translator is supposed to translate from one language to another -- no commentary needed. Gah! There's my rant! I was just SO ANNOYED! <<less
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kawaii12345
kawaii12345 rated it
March 18, 2022
Status: c34
I much prefer the OP transmigration to the past genre.

All I can do is feel sadness for the MC, it's just such an annoying read.

First it's very predictable. I have read about 10% of the novel and it's incredibly obvious where this is going. What's worse there's very little sense of surprise when reading it. The events are clumsily telegraphed and heavily cliched. I could almost hear the ML going "Interesting she's not like the other girls".

Second there's already been a giant timeskip that glosses over what could / should... more>> have been really interesting parts of the story. Instead of even minimally developing the story it's a literal 5 years later moment.

Third and maybe most important are the characters. The ML is garbage. The MC is a doormat. No spoiler the Original from before the MC transmigrates in was committing su*cide to harm the ML's reputation and status. It's a great shame that this didn't happen frustrating her justice that she purchased at the price of her life. About the only characters I didn't want to see hurt were the kids.

Bottom line: Not a fun read. <<less
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Tachi Works
Tachi Works
October 19, 2021
Status: --
One of the few rare harem couple that didn't cause the other wives/concubines to live crippled sexless mareiages in the name of True Love.

Not without reason anyway, though I wasn't comfortable with the ML's 'one strike you're out' unforgiving attitude as if people can't change, despite him needing FL's forgiveness himself.

Appreciated that FL just had a regular human conscience and empathy for other's situations and she didn't let it get to her head when people mistook it as saintess syndrome.
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Caroline0101
Caroline0101
December 17, 2021
Status: --
It's a good plot, the characterisation came in short; it is hard to portray a 21st century transmigrated character as a peaceful harem wife whichever way you look at it cause the tag transmigration screams freedom, monogamy, innovation, literacy, feminism etc

FL Character

Friendly, career oriented cause its mentioned that she worked as an opera singer, loves children and that's self portrayed as she loves those adopted twins, quick thinking and innovative cause she quickly analyses the original owner's situation and what steps she should take. Analysis of original owner (concubine... more>> daughter married off by family, abandoned wife with no power favor or family backing in the deep waters of a harem in a big family, poor, lacks presence, basically a chess piece for others to use) thus the FL decides to lock her doors and stay away from the hustle until 5yrs later when the ML comes knocking)

ML Character

Arrogant and thinks everything under the heavens should bow to him selfish (he refuses to acknowledge that his negligence lead to his children being mistreated) irresponsible for after the deed he abandons the pregnant mother and children until 3yrs later when their mom dies, he dumps them to his neglected main wife simply because his second wife says so and forgets about them until another 5yrs later. I don't see I man like that attracting any 21st century women when here feminism is a common norm. 🙄 <<less
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Ameru-chan
Ameru-chan rated it
April 18, 2022
Status: c307
I'm not usually one to leave a comment but this time I can't, I just loved this novel so much, took me three days to finish it MTL, I want to thank the translator for letting me find this novel, and I know they have been reading some negative comments that's why I m here to thank you and I hope you continue your amazing work, (I will be sure to reread it later) and I loved the added notes at the end of the chapters and your thought,... more>>

Moving on to the novel :
Spoiler

as someone who believes in " women are their own worst enemies", I liked that the FL tried her best to help other women, especially in ancient times where women had no rights at all, and her understanding that male dominated society made them like that, that's what I would expect from a modern woman to do, I guess some people wouldn't like that she doesn't retaliate, but for me it was the best part, instead of letting them die why not help if you could, and the way she raised and interacted with the children was lovely.

For the ML even tho he was a scum at first but he was a teenager and impulsive so it's acceptable, later he grew up and changed for the better and got his act together, I loved his honesty with her, and him apologizing that even though he loves her but he can't let go of others, here I would like to say the way the FL tried to live with polygamy was portrayed nicely, like not just because she comes from modern times she won't accept him having others and force him to let go, but in the end it was just her left with him and they had twin boys. (Plus the other 8 children)

The palace intrigue and the political fighting was good 👍

Finally, my only regret is that I was hoping the extras would talk about the children after growing up, but it was a good read

[collapse]

For people saying that children are old enough to hold grudges, but don't forget the FL never talked badly about their father growing up, and children naturel instinct is to want to get close to their parents

For those who hate that women had to fight for a man, I would like to ask what were you expecting when you read the tags ? Plz don't go dropping the novel rating because of your poor judgment in choosing novels that don't satisfy your taste !

And if you're looking for a novel with lot of children, cute romance, heartwarming family moments, and some palace intrigue and harem fight (not that bloody tho😂) I recommend it. <<less
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Runamukluk
Runamukluk rated it
November 29, 2021
Status: c45
Chiming in to agree with those who say give the novel a chance. (I am waiting for Gumihou's always excellent translation too!Ganbatte!) I've read the raws and MTL-ed them up to Chapter 45 and I understand the author's psychology of the characters, after all being in a patriarchal society where women are still property, no matter their familial ranking of first wife or concubine etc. The story does show a true-ish picture of how these family dynamics could develop. Some of the comments say the 'cause' is the scumbag husband... more>> - but really it is the political background that has caused the main issue between the MC and the husband. Basically they are forced by imperial decree to be married and it was intentionally done to create enemies rather than relatives. Its contextually understandable the whole family of the husband feel like they were stiffed and got stuck with someone they didnt want - the original MC and treated her horribly. But then the modern transmigrated MC who has taken over, and the slice of life stuff that happens with the two adopted twins and her two helpers and their lovely garden. Its a nice story. Definitely deserves a good rating and more readership. <<less
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Crayonchii
Crayonchii rated it
May 29, 2023
Status: Completed
This story is about how helpless a woman is in ancient time. U will c various women with different personalities n fate, n different ending from our FL perspective as a person from modern time with very different world view compare to women back then.

I have to say translator did a very very bad job. She change too much sometime half the chapter is just her rewriting nonsense. Translation was very good quality probably until ch70+ (I forgot) where she start adding her own view, her own writing, omitting the... more>> original text, deciding FL character on her own n saying FL is OOC when actually the translator who never understand our FL character, , deciding ML character without understanding him, in short it's no longer a translation, it's a rewrite by translator. U can't understand the whole book without reading the original novel n u will misunderstood a lot of thing n missed a lot of subtle clue to how the story is as it is. I strongly recommend reading the original novel even just using Google translate its readable and make more sense. Also I think 70% of the bad review is bcause of the translator. The way she portray the ML is just so much hatred without understanding his character. It's totally different from original author intentions too.

Now on our characters:

ML

    • Very proud and arrogant (in the beginning). Extremely smart n cunning.
    • He have 2 wife, 2 concubine, 2 lesser concubine, is he a scumbag ?yes at this point he is. He got so angry when he got forced to marry our FL that he take his childhood sweetheart, 2 other concubine, n then later on take 2 of his childhood sweetheart's maid as his lesser concubine. Scumbag.
    • Our FL come from the enemy's family, a duke who work with another prince. Our FL is a shu daughter, meaning a daughter born from a concubine. So yeah with our ML status it's consider a huge face slapping to marry a concubine child as the Main Wife. And we all know how chinese ppl care so much about their face. It's like their family dignity, their honor, challenged n tarnish especially since he's so talented n proud n arrogant.
    • He have MANY child. Twin who he abandon prior to this n later push to our FL as a way to humiliate her further thanks to his childhood sweetheart suggestion. Now this is the part that make people hate him the most. The twins that he abandon were tortured by the ppl in the mansion, n by the kids own mother, he didn't care they were alive or dead bfore he push them to our FL. But later on we will c from his perspective that he never meant to torture the kids or starving them. He expect his childhood sweetheart (jiang wanying) a kind hearted person who can't even hurt an ant to provide proper necessity (food n clothing) for the kids. He didn't even expect the s*ave in the mansion will dare to harm his own bloodline. Yeah, arrogant, naive n neglectful. Later on when he visit them for first time he saw how they were wearing rag n was shock n tell his servant to give cloth to them. Then.. Thts it he neglect them AGAIN for 5 years. They were 3 yrs old when they frst met FL he already neglect them for 3yrs!!
    • So why he neglect them?? He was r*pe by washer women when he was 13Yo n drunk. U would think it's no big deal he's a man? No. R*pe is r*pe it leave psychological shadow on ppl. Especially he was just a kid himself! If he is a female, got rpe n then pregnant when she's 13, she will hate the child n wanna kill the child n nobody will hate her. They will pity her n pity the child. But did he want to kill the twins? No. He hate them so he neglect them pretend he doesn't hve this kids. U have to know he's a young master, very arrogant n prideful, suddenly got played by a servant. Imagine if a young rich lady got rpe by the gardener. Yeah. The shame the hate n rage he felt, it's good enough the washer woman didn't get kill. Especially in tht ancient time where a servant life is nothing to them.
    • Then time skip to 5yrs later where he accidentally discovered the twins talents, when he was on the way to divorce our FL. He was weary from his other wives bickering n he was disappointed none of his children as talented as him bfore until he saw how clever the twins is. That's how I think the story start, how he slowly fall for our FL (uh not rlly slowly) n how he bcome a hen peck husband from a domineering n arrogant master. How his love slowly bcome too deep where it's overcome his rational n calm self. Towards the end u c them bcome so sticky as a couple (yeah gudluck translator how u gonna rewrite tht with ur hatred to our ML :")
FL

    • She is a strong woman but tht doesn't mean she can't b soft hearted. Especially towards a female. We c this example when she forgive those crazy concubine again n again n try to save them from their death. She is not weak for refusing to fight, its just as she keep mentioning in the novel why bother fighting another women for a men's love when women fate in tht era is so miserable n pitiful. She is strong as she can survive in isolation for 5yrs raising 2 kids with just her 2 maids without a penny of help from anybody. Other probably will b in despair but not her.
    • At first she tried her best not to fall for our ml. But slowly as he shower her with kindness n keep getting close to her n with his good look (he's the no1 most handsome men in there apparently) also with his pushy attitude tht keep trying, eventually she fall in love with him too. But does tht mean she is not jealous he hve other woman? No she did n she told him loud n clear tht she will kick him out from her place if he take another wife n betray her. Other mention how they hate our ML bcause he didn't divorce the other wife, how can FL love him? Well yeah actually I agree with our fl, if he can b so heartless n divorce the other wife she won't like him at all. He hve to take responsibility for them. He made the mistake n women back then once they divorce it's the end for them. Some maternal family don't wanna accept them back they can get kill. Some, the only way out is becoming a nun. Not like us in modern time, we can get divorce, being single proudly after ditching a scumbag husband, we can have career, there's many single women raising child by themselves. But back then women don't hve these option. Very hard for them to remarry. A divorced women consider a disgrace to the women's family. So our FL never want him to kick those other concubine out of the house. But through so many twist n turn in the end it's only them 2 left in that house. N none of it is our FL faults.
    • She's lazy n just wanna live a peaceful life with her 2 adopted children. U can clearly c this bcause even until the end she don't wanna b responsible as the house manager, which most women fight for back then. Only she throw it away thinking it's tiring n working like a housekeeper, I agree.
    • Shes extremely talented in opera singing n she love singing. This is another part of her that bring glory for herself n her husband family when she sing for the emperor n empress dowager. She end up with a career as opera teacher. I'm not too fond of this aspect since I don't rlly like chinese opera.-. But this part play vital role to the story too. This can b consider as one of our FL golden finger.
    • She loves children! It's part of her tht charm our ml. Some ppl in the negative review hate it why she have to raise the others wives children in the end? Well like our FL said it's not a big deal, children is innocent. While u guys looking at the child as a symbol of betrayal from ML n other women, but I think FL never c it as him cheating on her. Afterall she is a different soul, not like they were in love when she just married him too. She didn't care about his previous relationship n as she said "the child is like a orphan, if it's a big deal raising other ppls child how can a person in modern time have an adoption?" Everyone else even ML looking at her like she is a saint but in her perspective she is not it's just she have different view compare to women mindset in tht era. This point is stress again n again in the story.
Spoiler

Some ppl hates those concubine especially jiang wanying. Some ppl like our translator only hate the ML. But in the end I think u guys just didn't c things from their perspective. All the concubine hve miserable ending (none died) except for 1, Yuelan.

She cheated n gve our ML green hat LOL

but FL help her get out from tht place n she married her cousin who were suppose to marry with her bfore. ML knows he got green hat too but he just let it go. He already suffered n almost vomit blood thanks to Jiang wanying n concubine Huo betrayal as a spies, so maybe what's more a green hat right it's no big deal. In the end those other concubine they all pitiful. When concubine cui bcome a nun our FL just snap she got so sad n angry n blaming the ML for taking so many women as his wife in the end just wasting their youth. Which ML admit it's his mistake.

[collapse]

So this story not just bout love between ML n FL but it shows clearly how powerless women is in tht era. Their different fate n ending. Even the princess (ML sister) no matter how high n noble she is still so powerless. <<less
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Book Lover Slytherine
Book Lover Slytherine rated it
September 17, 2022
Status: Completed
Sorry not my cup of tea. I can't bear thinking a modern woman compromising with the ML and being fine with his harem. Some people said it is a realistic story (because the ML didn't stop using woman for mc) but I want to ask a question to those braindead where in the world a modern woman transmigrating in an ancient body was considered realistic? Despite knowing about women rights and equality the MC believes man are supreme so he can use women like tissue papers, like only sadism modern... more>> woman thinks that!

Ml;

Spoiler

He was pretty much of a fvcker. He knew the og MC was innocent but still he and his family abused her. Why? Because he couldn't accept that he was forced by the royals to marry her. He is so weak to take revenge on the powerful people but strong enough to torture the weak og MC cause she was easy to bully. A fvcking masochist. I hate him. Despite knowing he mistreated the FL and the children he didn't help them. Why? Because his own fvcing bastards have became spoiled due to their mothers pampering. So he didn't want the FL and children become arrogant. Like the hell of this fvcker's logic?

[collapse]

Fl;

Spoiler

A sadism woman, who prefers man are supreme so he could treat women like shits. Half of the book was she praising the man that how good he was. Like treating your abuser like god, she really is something else. Someone said she does that only because the ML could snatch the children from her! ??? Like wtf? That's why you will bear his every wrongs and treat him like God??? I also can't accept that how she sh*t talks about the og for not bearing the insults and committing su*cide..

[collapse]

To The Author;

Spoiler

You really need to consult a psychiatrist for your brain dead thinking. Despite belonging to a civilized society you could write this kind of shits proves how twisted your thoughts are. YOU DESPERATELY NEED HELP! Please go to a doctor and treat your uncivilized mind. I don't know how much Treatment can revive your braindead thoughts. But there's no wrong to try.

[collapse]

My thoughts:

A foul story. Only sadistic people can like this but I can't. If the FL was an ancient women or the ML was fair to his wives and concubines, I could accept that but what the hell is this?? Unbearable. <<less
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kitkatssie
kitkatssie rated it
March 11, 2022
Status: c32
Wow people are being pretty mean about this one, it deserves a higher rating imo. Translation quality is excellent and MC is really likeable, I don't even hate ML too much. I think people project themselves too heavily on the MC'S in these novels and get enraged by the circumstances too easily.

... more>>
Spoiler

And even though people are calling him scum for abandoning the kids, nobody seems to have caught on to the fact that if their math is right, the translators seem to think ML had the MCs adopted kids at around 13 after getting drunk and encountering the kids much older birth mother. So like. Yknow.

[collapse]
<<less
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Jinschopstixs
Jinschopstixs rated it
November 27, 2022
Status: c104
First off the transition is chef kisses :* it’s one of the best. Secondly if you’re going to read this you are gonna have resign yourself to the fact that this a time period piece and that life was hellish for women. Men are arrogant and selfish in present time imagine back when they were given free range as aromatic superior counterparts to women. If you do this and read the story going forward it’s a pretty good read. The reason I’m giving it a three is because of some... more>> unnecessary dialogue that goes on sometimes. <<less
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Avrohom
Avrohom rated it
November 8, 2022
Status: Completed
I give this novel five stars and all of them go to the brilliant one of a kind good translator-editor team. The novel itself is shockingly unpleasant, at least initially so. Everything about it rubs a modern reader the wrong way. I had to make a huge effort to relax and enjoy as I read its introductory chapters. Why bother? Because it is worth it. It is rare to find such an amazing translator who helps you see things differently and embrace the wider world of people and different cultures.

What... more>> surprised me most is that this novel about a wife turned out to actually be about a husband (at least in the first 20-30 chapters). A polygamous Chinese man is the star of that show. The most evil, devious and cringeworthy SOB ever. I do not even know how I fell into that trap. I actually started reading because of the tag "farming" and the novel's description that promises a good FL.

Anyways, the novel itself is very complex, the spouses are a great match, and I feel it is actually very feministic and rich in goodness.

Spoiler

A brilliant modern opera singer and a business woman who is an owner of her own opera company and music school transmigrates and becomes the main wife of a Marquis, a mother to his two orphaned three years old twins.

The child was either twelve or thirteen and drunk when he accidentally imp**gnated an ambitious laundry woman and the boy was fifteen when he was forced to marry the original owner of the FL's body. He was sixteen with a huge, haphazardly assembled harem when he left the FL with two orphans and her two maids to her own devices hoping to divorce her a few years later when it would become politically possible. So kind of him.

So, she finds herself in a huge remote courtyard which is well furnished with enormous gardens and plenty of fertile land and peacefully lives her life almost completely independently from the main household, never having a penny nor a word from them. She basically borrows that courtyard/estate and one of Marquis's servants to help her communicate with the outside world, to sell her embroidery for cash, to purchase supplies, seeds for her crops, etc. At any moment, once her husband divorces her, she has plans to be on her own, for example, as an opera singer.

Then the novel skips five years ahead into the future when Marquis, now a young twenty something years old man with eight kids, comes to divorce her. Except he didn't. Then he comes again a year later, again, driven by emotion, not reason, and their life together begins. Getting to know each other, educating this large number of his kids, running a huge household with a gazillion of outside businesses, politics, everything.

I truly do not see him as a scum, both because he was too young to be a scum and because the FL was too old and experienced to be damaged by him or anyone else. Most of his past behavior was simply the behavior of an underage child overwhelmed and angered by his circumstances. It was good that this kid did not try to manage the FL's life, who was an adult capable woman, for six years non stop and once he grew up he was capable of noticing that he had a treasure in his own house and cherished it.

Blaming him for abuses or neglect would be crediting him with too much power which he never had, nor was the FL, an adult and competent woman, way older and more capable than him, a victim of that teenager - an absentee father and a husband only on paper. She and the twins benefitted plenty from his attitude and actions. She basically used one his giant courtyards to live a good life for the first six years in this world, bringing up two precious kids, while she adapted to this era and its culture and got ready for more.

Read at your own risk. This novel really is nausea and vomit inducing if you read it expecting its main character, the husband, to behave "normally" while being her master/boss, her husband/support, the head of her household. The trick is to stay strong and keep in mind that he is basically her landlord, the owner of the courtyard where she temporarily resides, nothing else. She is de facto his tenant and provides care for his kids in exchange for that room, not board. In fact, he eats her food, not vice versa. He is not in the position of power to make the FL happy or unhappy, well fed or starved, poor or wealthy. She is.


He is delusional (well, poorly informed) when he believes otherwise and plans to not give her money, to keep her suffering for a while longer, to keep her isolated or integrated as the head of his harem etc. As if he was her actual husband, her Lord, her owner and she was his dog whose cage he could keep closed or open at will.
She is a modern woman through and through, as strong as any man, we have to remember and respect that.
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whiteapparition
whiteapparition rated it
August 2, 2022
Status: --
Before I start, I want to say the only reason why this even deserves 2 stars instead of 0 stars is because of Gumiho's excellent translation and it simply being better than the author's previous work, The Feast. Unlike that one, which was much too fluffy, this is a better attempt at tackling realism. And yet, I cannot help but scorn the FL. It's one thing to be comfortable, but did she have to ... more>>
Spoiler

sh*t talk the original owner for killing herself? Tasteless.

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However, in her defense, unlike other lower-star reviewers, I think it makes sense that a "modern" woman cannot just up and leave. That's highly impractical and just asking for death. Depending on the laws, a woman could not own anything, how could she live? Starting a business requires upfront capital and an idea, no matter how great, will not be taken seriously when proposed by a woman. At worst, it will get stolen, at best, it will get stolen later when it gets too successful, and trying to back it comes at too personal of a price. The best course for a woman dumped in FL's situation is to raise the kids to be dependent on her, give the girl an advantageous marriage and help the boy become the heir, enjoying life as a madam without having the experience the harrowing ordeal of birth in such an era. Anyway, she is the legal wife, regardless of her actual power in the household, if she takes in those kids and raises them herself, how could they compare to that of a regular concubine-born child, even if they were born illegitimate? One simply needs to bid time.

When it comes to the ML, he is a local man. In those times, what he is doing is on par with what others in his position would do. I actually do not dislike him as much as I dislike his action. It's like rolling one's eye at racist elderlies born in the 30s. What rubs me the wrong way is the FL's excusing his behavior. One can appreciate someone's capabilities and admit their station without rubbing someone's nose. Sometimes, it feels like she is worshipping him. And considering some of the things the ML does, I cannot help but recoil. Really, she makes me the ML looks worse than he is in my eyes by doing this...

Honestly, if you want to read a realistic story of a man who ends up with the FL without the super unrealistic modern stuff, I recommend The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir. The ending of that one is a bit disappointing as well, but frankly, the characters are much more dynamic in their actions than the paper dolls this story likes to pretend are characters. <<less
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SuibianRose
SuibianRose rated it
April 12, 2022
Status: --
Not as good as The Feast. This FL is kind of boring and has no backbone. Her maids are dumb as bricks. The kids are old enough not to forgive so easily. The ML is the worst part. He knows he's been mistreating them but he keeps doing it "for their own good". He's the worst.

I was gonna rate it a 3 but gave an extra star for the great translations.
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Sambazhad
Sambazhad rated it
March 20, 2022
Status: --
If you are really dried out of options then can leisurely read this story. ML is scum as everyone wrote in their reviews, FL - I expected more but there wasn’t much. Family drama is so long, no surprises from beginning to end. It sucks at one point. Bottom line, women life in ancient china was worse than stray dogs. Although all fault lies with ML he never suffered, but the women in family go thru all hell, sucks seriously.
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thecherryblossoms
thecherryblossoms rated it
March 26, 2023
Status: Completed
This is exactly my cup of tea. The protagonist is not op but with a certain dignity that could thrive in this era. I love her portrayal and the realism of women in a disadvantageous time.

Yes this is harem, but that is exactly what I wanted to read about. Surviving in a harem where you are not favored yet living life to the fullest. If you enjoyed the distant protagonist of The Job of an Imperial Concubine and the blurred lines of love-work she shared with the emperor you'd probably... more>> enjoy this too. <<less
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Rosegungun
Rosegungun rated it
September 27, 2022
Status: c220
This is an frustrating novel. It's good in start you can read it but MC is so kind that it seems hypocrite. She will take care of her husband other children as they are her own and than that man will say I love you and she f*cking belive it. He didn't do anything for her from start, and he always get what he wants from FL in the perfect that only you can understand me you are too kind. Another thing FL doesn't spent much money but he give... more>> all her property to her and FL moved is their water in your brain she doesn't spent it what's the use. You will let her raise your other wife's children take care of your household and by the virtue of her modern knowledge you earn her money gain popularity and in the end you gave her the sh*t that you are virtuous and so kind. What kind of sh*t thinking is this. And the FL is moved by his sentence sh*t I mean is FL is avtar of goddess of mercy. I think FL doesn't think like human she gave her hart her knowledge her rest time her money her effort everything in the return of you are so virtuous and kind reputation. <<less
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