The Good Earth, By Pearl S. Buck

I know, I know, it’s been way too long since I’ve last posted.  I have been busy with school and last-minute skiing.  I have not been completely neglecting writing, though.  I’ve been editing my latest, book, Expired.  I’ve told you about it, the one with the gangs?  Yeah, I know, I have a couple different gang books, but this is the one I did for NaNoWriMo last year.  I’ve been editing that, and I’ve already added several hundred words to my total word count.  That’s the way editing goes, I suppose.

But on top of that, I’ve also been doing some reading of the classics.  I am currently reading Wuthering Heights, which is a romance, though I’ve just begun it and haven’t really gotten to the romantic part.  I also read Pride and Prejudice, and while it was quite long, I did enjoy it.  I also enjoyed the movie adaption. 😉  But the book I want to talk today about is one I have just finished reading a week or two ago; The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck.

That was a good book.

This is the cover of the copy I read

In a nutshell, it is about a farmer in pre-revolutionary China who starts at the bottom of the food chain and works his way to the top.

I don’t even know why it was so captivating!  Very few things happened that were interesting.  I mean, things happened, there was a famine, they had to move South temporarily, they moved back, they bought land, Wang Lung bought Lotus from the Tea House.  I won’t go to the end of the book, but I mean, look at what I have down.  There’s not much exciting going on that might be incorporated into more modern books like the Divergent series, the Hunger Games, Harry Potter, and others.  There were a few deaths, but nothing was shocking or startling.  Pearl Buck made it clear for a long time when a person was dying, so really we were only waiting for the day (or page) that person died.

So it can only be the actual writing that makes it so interesting.  I mean, I was hooked from the first page, and it was basically about the main character, Wang Lung, getting up in the morning and getting ready for the day!  The only thing about this day that separates it from the others, was that Wang Lung was to be wed.  And really, few things even happened for that.  He washed his whole body, and he went shopping before going to the house his wife lived.

Here is a paragraph from the book in case you haven’t read it, just so you understand what I mean.  This is from page 83 of the copy I read from the library, and I claim none of it except what is in parenthesis.

“The next morning when the sun rose unchanging in its sky of varnished blue it seemed to him (Wang Lung)  a dream that he could ever have thought of leaving his house with these helpless children and this old man.  How could they drag their bodies over a hundred miles, even to plenty?  And who knew whether or not even in the south there was food?  One would say there was no end to this brazen sky.  Perhaps they would wear out all their last strength only to find more starving people and these strangers to them as well.  Far better to stay where they could die in their beds.  He sat desponding on the threshold of the door and gazed bleakly over the dried and hardened fields from which every particle of anything which could be called food or fuel had been plucked.”

See what I mean?  So much description, such a clear image.  It really is the writing that makes this book.  In my opinion, if Pearl S. Buck was not the writer she was, using such words that she did, The Good Earth would not be nearly as popular as it has remained.

This is The Raven, off in search of Inspiration.


One thought on “The Good Earth, By Pearl S. Buck

  1. I recently read (actually listened to) this book for the first time, and like you, really enjoyed it. I thought the story was captivating and I appreciated how hard Wang Lung worked to support his family. I also listened to a fascinating biography, Pearl of China, by Anchee Min.

    Happy reading!
    Mrs. F



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