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Pavilion of Women
     

Pavilion of Women

4.4 9
by Pearl S. Buck
 

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On her fortieth birthday, Madame Wu carries out a decision she has been planning for a long time: she tells her husband that after twenty-four years their physical life together is now over and she wishes him to take a second wife. The House of Wu, one of the oldest and most revered in China, is thrown into an uproar by her decision, but Madame Wu will not be

Overview

On her fortieth birthday, Madame Wu carries out a decision she has been planning for a long time: she tells her husband that after twenty-four years their physical life together is now over and she wishes him to take a second wife. The House of Wu, one of the oldest and most revered in China, is thrown into an uproar by her decision, but Madame Wu will not be dissuaded and arranges for a young country girl to come take her place in bed. Elegant and detached, Madame Wu orchestrates this change as she manages everything in the extended household of more than sixty relatives and servants. Alone in her own quarters, she relishes her freedom and reads books she has never been allowed to touch. When her son begins English lessons, she listens, and is soon learning from the foreigner, a free-thinking priest named Brother Andre, who will change her life. Few books raise so many questions about the nature and roles of men and women, about self-discipline and happiness.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Buck’s epic recounts women’s plight in late 1930s China, rapidly changing under Western influence and threats from native communists and Japanese invaders. On her 40th birthday, Madam Wu, the matriarch of a wealthy, tradition-bound Chinese family, having decided to retire from her bedroom duties, buys her husband a concubine and sets out to divest herself of all the familial responsibilities that have been consuming her life. Her quest to live for herself is aided and complicated by her youngest son’s tutor, Brother Andre, a progressive Western priest. Narrating simply in gentle, dignified, and understated tones, Adam Verner gives this masterful book the perfect touch. On the surface, his delivery is plain, devoid of flourishes, while worlds of underlying meaning emerge through subtle means." 
Y.R. - Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award - © AudioFile Portland, Maine

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781559212878
Publisher:
Midpoint Trade Books, Incorporated
Publication date:
05/01/1995
Pages:
316
Product dimensions:
5.54(w) x 8.52(h) x 0.94(d)

Meet the Author


Pearl S. Buck recreated the lives of ordinary Chinese people in The Good Earth, an overnight worldwide best-seller in 1932, later a blockbuster movie. Buck went on to become the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Long before anyone else, she foresaw China’s future as a superpower, and she recognized the crucial importance for both countries of China’s building a relationship with the United States. As a teenager she had witnessed the first stirrings of Chinese revolution, and as a young woman she narrowly escaped being killed in the deadly struggle between Chinese Nationalists and the newly formed Communist Party.

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4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great Story. Captivating characters. Interesting historical concepts. This book is amazing. The story of Madame Wu and how she came to the descovery/awakening of her emotional desires, in conjunction to her intellectual curiosity, gives this book a feel of how women were treated like property and how Madame Wu discovered that there is more to life than serving a husband.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An absolutely captivating novel about Madame Wu's unknowing journey to discover the purest form of love in the context of a society that will challenge your conceptions of family norms.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Beautiful, insightful, strangely and uncoventionally spiritual. The kind of book that once you finish it, you want to immediately read it all over again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book stirred my heart as well as my mind. It is supprisingly spiritual w/o being religous. It shows that making ourselves & those around us happy, begins with in.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Madam Wu is of her time and hard for us to relate to in this century. Having said that, I felt great empathy for her and her household. She did what she felt was the most logical thing to do at the time and even when it backfires, she sticks by her decision to turn everyones lives upside down. I couldn't put it down - I'm a big Pearl Buck fan - and loved reading one more good book by a great author.