The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck

About the book

When O-lan, a servant girl, marries the peasant Wang Lung, she toils tirelessly through four pregnancies for their family’s survival. Reward at first is meagre, but there is sustenance in the land – until the famine comes. Half-starved, the family joins thousands of peasants to beg on the city streets. It seems that all is lost, until O-lan’s desperate will to survive returns them home with undreamt of wealth. But they have betrayed the earth from which true wealth springs, and the family’s money breeds only mistrust, deception – and heartbreak for the woman who had saved them. THE GOOD EARTH is a riveting family saga and story of female sacrifice – a classic of twentieth-century literature.

Reviewed by The Cheerful Bags Reading Group:

We did enjoy this book very much, it was a really interesting way to understand some of the culture of China at the time, especially towards females. The manner in which it was written really conveyed Wang Lung’s innermost ‘highs and lows’ to the reader and took you along with his life story.

Star rating: ***

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11 thoughts on “The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck”

  1. Review by White Lion Reading Group:
    Different to what we would normally read, but interesting and enjoyable. The book gave an insight into another culture.
    Star rating: ***

  2. Review by White Lion Reading Group:
    Different to what we would normally read, but interesting and enjoyable. The book gave an insight into another culture.
    Star rating: ***

  3. Review by Shipton Bellinger WI reading group:
    A very good read. If you haven’t read this book or read it so long ago that the story is hazy please read it again. Published in the 30’s it is as readable today and just as relevant.
    Star rating: ****

  4. Review by Shipton Bellinger WI reading group:
    A very good read. If you haven’t read this book or read it so long ago that the story is hazy please read it again. Published in the 30’s it is as readable today and just as relevant.
    Star rating: ****

  5. Review by Morningtide Elderberries Reading Group:
    A well written book of the life of one man in rural China before the second world war, together with the country’s economy changing in one mans lifetime.
    Star rating: ***

  6. Review by Morningtide Elderberries Reading Group:
    A well written book of the life of one man in rural China before the second world war, together with the country’s economy changing in one mans lifetime.
    Star rating: ***

  7. Review by The Blank Books:
    Very good insight into Chinese society during the beginning of the last century. Very well written.
    Rating: 3 Stars

  8. Review by Cliffhangers Reading Group
    All but one of our group marked this boko highly. The one dissenter lost interest around chapter 10 (the move to the city). The rest of us rated it highly – soem reading it for the second time.
    The characters were well drawn and believable. The storyline fascinating, especially when involving the work ethics/rich and poor divide and good and bad attitudes. We learnt alot about Chinese customs and culture. The last page of the book took us “forward” almost into our own generation.
    Rating: ***

  9. Review by Steep U3A
    Excellent book which vividly describes life in rural China before the 1911 revolution.
    Interesting, almost biblical language which contributes to the Chinese scene whether decription of life or in the conversation.
    Author won the Pulitzer Prize 1932 and later the Nobel Prize for Literature.
    Star rating: ****

  10. Review by Steep U3A
    Excellent book which vividly describes life in rural China before the 1911 revolution.
    Interesting, almost biblical language which contributes to the Chinese scene whether decription of life or in the conversation.
    Author won the Pulitzer Prize 1932 and later the Nobel Prize for Literature.
    Star rating: ****

  11. Review by Godshill WI
    We all enjoyed this book, in different ways. Some thought it simply a cracking story, others enjoyed the insight into China’s culture. All found the biblical language challenging at first but came to accept it as part of the nature of the story.
    Star rating ***

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