Reading Wednesday

Book Review The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

Reading Wednesday

Location: Reading Wednesday

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.

This blog contains affiliate links and we may be compensated if you purchase this book.  Any money earned goes directly to offset the costs of the maintenance of this blog.  Thank you.


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  • Reply James Weitz

    Hello fellow travel writers! Where are you now? I also read The Good Earth and really enjoyed it. I went to the places in China where Pearl Buck lived and worked. I realized as I followed her around that she was basically Chinese. She had not expected to be banned from returning to her home country when she left for the USA at age 42. I took a lot of pictures. You might enjoy having a look:

    November 8, 2019 at 1:35 am
    • Reply Laureen

      I will have a look. Thanks!

      November 8, 2019 at 7:14 am

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