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Pearl S. Buck

    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review The Imperial Woman by Pearl S. Buck

    Reading Wednesday

    Another fascinating novel by the incomparable Pearl S. Buck Buck – an amazing women well ahead of her time – writes about another remarkable women, Tzu Hsi, one of China’s greatest leaders.

    Buck’s ability to bring her readers into a bygone era is astonishing, and one of the things I love the most about her writing talent. The Good Earth by Buck remains one of my favorite reads of all time, and won Buck a Noble Prize.

    Much has been written about Tzu Hsi, a modest concubine who rose to power in the Qing Dynasty and became China’s last empress. But this novel takes Tzu Hsi life and dissects all of the amazing details of her beauty, cunning, and brilliant leadership during a time of extreme national turmoil and change.

    If you loved the film The Last Emperor by Director Bernardo Bertolucci, Buck’s work in The Imperial Woman educates the reader of the period just prior to The Last Emperor, the politics and intrigue, tradition and power that had been Chinese life for thousands of years, until the fall of the Empire in 1912. Tzu Hsi died in 1908.

    Fascinating and beautifully written. Powerful and complete, you will come away with respect and awe for one of the world’s least known female leaders.

    *****Five stars for The Imperial Woman by Pearl S. Buck.

    Read last week’s review of A Woman of No Importance

    See this week’s top performing pin here.

    My current read All You Can Ever Know, by Nicole Chung

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    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.

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