Shannon R. (Sunburst, MT)
I felt like I was there
I love this novel!!! I felt that I was there in China with Pearl Buck growing up right along side her. This is writing at it's best! I loved the honesty that the author wrote with regarding life in China after the Boxer Rebellion and during the communist take over.
Darlene M. (Rancho Mirage, CA)
PEARL OF CHINA
Pearl of China is literally a Jewel of a book. It brings new meaning to family, friendship, love and loss. A friendship that lasts a lifetime. My bookclub focused on Pearl Buck's The Good Earth and Sons last year and this will be a perfect book to share...it is a must read.
Claire G. (Merrimack, NH)
Pearl of China by Anchee Min
I chose this book because I really knew nothing about Pearl Buck and her life in China. It follows the lives of two girls, Pearl and Willow growing up in rural China as it evolves through to the Cultural Revolution of Mao. The details of the girls lives are fascinating. You get pulled into how life is in the small Chinese town of Chin-Kiang. It is fascinating to read how a missionary Absalom Sydenstricker, Pearl's father, brings Christianity into the villager's lives. The narrator of the story is Willow and we follow her struggles to exist and how much she was influenced by Pearl. This novel is filled with colorful detail and weaves a tapestry of images that are compelling. It made me want to read the Good Earth and to know more about China.
Jo K. (Saratoga, CA)
Not her best, but very good.
I would heartily recommend this book for any book club especially in combination with reading "The Good Earth" and "Red Azalea" (both of which I loved)...I think to have read all three would make for an incredible and animated discussion that would long be remembered.
Marcia F. (Batavia, IL)
Pearl of China
"Pearl of China" is a beautifully written historical novel about the loyal friendship between two girls cultures apart. The first girl is Willow a peasant who is telling the story and the other is her best friend Pearl Buck the daughter of American missionaries. Because Pearl is an American she is forced to leave China and Willow is forced to remain. Pearl is denounce by Madam Mao for writing about China and Willow must find ways to remain loyal to China as well as to Pearl. Possibly, because Ms. Min also had to denounce Pearl Buck while growing up in China, this novel was written as an apology for having to have had to make this denouncement. Whatever, the reason, this is a wonderful read and I highly recommend it to Pearl Buk fans as well as book clubs. This book would lead to a wonderful discussion.
Mary Lou F. (Naples, FL)
Different cultures make good friends
You can be of a different culture and faith and still be good friends with someone as Pearl and Willow showed. Chinese culture is so different from American culture and it is hard to understand the differences but if you have a friend of either culture, each can understand the other.
Krista H. (Grayslake, IL)
I am a huge Pearl Buck fan so was very excited to receive this book. I did enjoy the book, but wasn't blown away by it. The writing wasn't a good as I was hoping for, but I did learn things about Pearl, and China that I found interesting. I have done quite a bit of reading on China in this period, but for someone who hasn't, I believe they would find this book to be very informative. I especially enjoyed that Pearl's missionary family was presented in a positive light. It seems missionaries/Christians are often represented negatively in books. Seeing the impact Pearl's father's mission had on the community he served was enlightening. I would recommend it for book clubs as I think it would generate some good discussions about Chinese culture.