Monday, August 24, 2015
Book Review - "The Good Earth" by Pearl S. Buck
This is a quietly told story of a Chinese farmer's life in the pre-revolution days. My feeling is that I liked it a lot, but not enough to rate it a full 4 stars (the rating would be 3.7 stars).
It is a heartfelt account of life in the grassroots society of that era, with its own epoch-relevant values, superstitions, class distinction and sexist attitude, not any dissimilar to that depicted in other Chinese literary works relating to that era (Ba Jin's The Family, Autumn, Spring comes to mind). What sets this novel apart from those Chinese works is perhaps the absence of bitterness in the narrator's voice, which comes in a calm, surreal tone. Why could the author write in such a tone? It is because she was a foreign visitor living in China only for a temporary period of time. But as a story, it is superbly structured and told with credibly indigenous parlance.