The Good Earth
Pearl S. Buck’s classic story of family and life in pre-revolutionary China. This did not take as long as I thought, and while sad at times, I liked the book. I think the prose is distinct, the story compelling and honest, and the characters very real. I liked the themes of the novel which explored man’s relation to the earth, changing fortunes, China at the turn of the century, and women’s role in society and family. She writes everything so deftly and without judgment; a very true story teller. On a more personal note, the book touches on something in my own life. I am very familiar with Chinese culture, family, and livelihood. Buck said she wrote about China because it was all she knew. She might have been a foreigner, but there is such an candid and wonderful perspective in her writing. Dare I say it, but this book is very Chinese. It is difficult to describe how she captured the Chinese characters and cultural identity so well. Once again, I found so much honesty in her writing. I liked how she painted the picture of O-Lan and the other women in Chinese society. While I appreciated the writing and the book, I do not think I will continue with the trilogy because I am not particularly attached to the characters beyond this book, and the stories can be rather sad. I would be interested in reading more of Buck’s other stories.