Book Review The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
This fascinating saga that earned Buck a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 is another novel I found amongst the hundreds of books in the library of the house we have lived this past month. What a treat to stumble upon this classic and carefully created tale of life in China in the late 1800’s.
Buck herself spent most of her life in China, as a child of missionaries her writing talent bloomed amongst the fascinating culture and history that surrounded her. Buck’s many books on China were not her only accomplishments as she was an activist and human rights leader. She was the first female awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.
The Good Earth is a sweeping story of the life of Wang Lung. The story is told in the third person but always from the point of view of Wang Lung as he navigates the life of a farmer in rural 19th century China.
Throughout the story it is the connection to the land that is the overriding theme; always the land brings wealth, food, riches, happiness even to a humble farmer as Wang Lung.
Throughout his life he battles prejudice, injustice, draught, famine, war, floods, infidelity, and death. In the end only trying to keep his land for his sons. In fact, at the end of The Good Earth I kept thinking about the book Legends of the Fall by Jim Harrison ( movie “Legends of the Fall” 1994 starring Anthony Hopkins, Brad Pitt, Aiden Quinn and Henry Thomas) where a similar theme of family ties to a father and land, as well as greed, war and love creates a spectacular family saga.
Even though Buck’s novel The Good Earth is 86 years old, it is a classic that everyone should read, perhaps more than once.
Five Stars for The Good Earth.
Learn more about Pearl S. Buck’s amazing life here.
Read last week’s review of Black Beauty here.
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