Pearl of China: A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview


It is the end of the nineteenth century and China is riding on the crest of great change, but for nine-year-old Willow, the only child of a destitute family in the small southern town of Chin-kiang, nothing ever seems to change. Until the day she meets Pearl, the eldest daughter of a zealous American missionary.

Pearl is head-strong, independent and fiercely intelligent, and will grow up to be Pearl S Buck, the Pulitzer- and Nobel ...
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Pearl of China: A Novel

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Overview


It is the end of the nineteenth century and China is riding on the crest of great change, but for nine-year-old Willow, the only child of a destitute family in the small southern town of Chin-kiang, nothing ever seems to change. Until the day she meets Pearl, the eldest daughter of a zealous American missionary.

Pearl is head-strong, independent and fiercely intelligent, and will grow up to be Pearl S Buck, the Pulitzer- and Nobel Prize-winning writer and humanitarian activist, but for now all Willow knows is that she has never met anyone like her in all her life. From the start the two are thick as thieves, but when the Boxer Rebellion rocks the nation, Pearl's family is forced to leave China to flee religious persecution. As the twentieth century unfolds in all its turmoil, through right-wing military coups and Mao's Red Revolution, through bad marriages and broken dreams, the two girls cling to their lifelong friendship across the sea.

In this ambitious and moving new novel, Anchee Min, acclaimed author of Empress Orchid and Red Azalea, brings to life a courageous and passionate woman who loved the country of her childhood and who has been hailed in China as a modern heroine.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608191512
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 4/9/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 151,007
  • File size: 619 KB

Meet the Author

Anchee Min
Anchee Min was born in Shanghai in 1957. At seventeen she was sent to a labor collective, where a talent scout for Madame Mao's Shanghai Film Studio recruited her to work as a movie actress. She moved to the United States in 1984. Her first memoir, Red Azalea, was an international bestseller, published in twenty countries. She has since published six novels, including the Richard & Judy choice Empress Orchid and, most recently, Pearl of China.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 36 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 26, 2010

    China's Story

    What I enjoyed the most about this book was the picture of China during different political climates that the author portrays. So often in historical fiction the reader either must possess a great deal of background knowledge, or the flow of the story is impeded by the author providing that background. In Pearl of China the author is able to artfully weave the events and political climate into the story. This made it a good read even if, like me, you are unfamiliar with Buck's novels or modern Chinese history.

    Although Buck's parents were missionaries I did find the Christian postalizing in this story too strong. The beginning of the story, particularly when the main characters were children, didn't hook me. It took me until later in the book to really begin to enjoy it. The rest of the book made up for these issues, however. And as the mark of any really successful historical fiction, it inspired an interest for me to learn more about the subject.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2010

    excellent reading

    I have read all of Anchee Min's books. All= excellent.
    I almost never read books written by women( yeah, I know=chauvanist)
    However, I ALWAYS look forward to the next novel by this writer.
    Her character development is excellent, story line is interesting.
    Made me go buy the "original" book= THE GOOD EARTH.
    Such a pleasure, so much feeling and provides a better
    understanding about Chinese culture( you guessed it: I am not Asian).
    Enjoy.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved this book!

    I am a huge Pearl S. Buck fan. I loved how Min took a few of Pearl S. Bucks actual friends from China and turned them into one person. One person who followed her throughout her whole life. The story was insightful, funny, and easy to follow. The characters were real and interesting. It made me feel like I was actually in the village. It really gives you an insight into why Pearl S. Buck was so drawn to China and why she choose to write so many books based on it. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone seeking a good read!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Recommended reading...

    Although one might assume this book is a fictional account of Pearl S. Buck's relationships with China and a childhood friend, it is so much more. The character of Pearl is secondary to the author's main character which is the culture and life in China from the late 1890s to the mid 1970s. Min paints a lavish portrait of Chinese life in turn of the century China, it's people, customs, and political trials. Fans of Buck may pick up this book hoping to get in touch with Pearl but Anchee Min has honored Pearl by allowing the reader to get to know Pearl's China instead, and lets the reader in fall in love with China's people. Min's writing is simple yet elegant; descriptive but not overly so. Most of all, she pulls you into the story making it difficult for you to leave. I look forward to reading more of Min's works in the future.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Wonderful story which is very well written.

    This is a must-read for readers interested in the China of the Pearl Buck era. For those readers who enjoyed Anchee Min's earlier books, you will enjoy the further insight into China and its people. For readers to whom Anchee Min is unknown, well it is time to discover a writer of enormous talent who entertains while providing the reader with much knowledge about the periods in Chinese history covered by her books.
    The story itself is very well written, but that is not much of a surprize for those who have read Anchee Min's earlier books. Immensely enjoyable read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2012

    Neko

    (Walks back and forth.)

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2012

    Its good but slow

    If u read the good earth u will understand this better.

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  • Posted July 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting premise but poorly executed.

    "It is the end of the nineteenth century and China is riding on the crest of great change, but for nine-year-old Willow, the only child of a destitute family in the small southern town of Chin-kiang, nothing ever seems to change. Until the day she meets Pearl, the eldest daughter of a zealous American missionary." The "Pearl" referenced in that blurb is Pearl S. Buck, author of The Good Earth and numerous other novels. The story follows the lives of Willow and Pearl. This includes their marriages to horrible men, Willow's imprisonment over refusing to denounce Pearl's work, and Pearl's rise as a writer. Some of the novel is based on fact, but the friendship itself is total fiction, which I was disappointed to learn. The historical bits about Mao's Red Revolution and particularly the bits about his wife, were fascinating but not fleshed out. There were numerous gaps in the storyline. In real life, Pearl was a visionary. Highly revered for her humanitarian efforts yet in the story, her life almost took a backseat to Willow's. Min was forced to denounce Buck's work so perhaps this book was her way of paying homage to the writer. I'm not sure she succeeded, but what she did do was make me want to read The Good Earth. In additional to the gaps in storyline, the writing itself is a classic example of "telling" and not "showing." Min tells you all about these horrible marriages yet she shares nothing about them. I never get a feel for the situation that these women are in. Even the imprisonment, which I'm sure would have been a harrowing experience for anyone, is glossed over with just a few sentences telling us how horrible it was. Pearl of China was my book club's pick for July. What could have been a fabulous read, ended up being a thin outline of historical facts with a underdeveloped story thrown in for good measure. I can't recommend this book, although it did provide quite a bit for us to discuss at our meeting.

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  • Posted January 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good read about Pearl S. Buck

    I trace my love of historical fiction to reading The Good Earth as a child, so why not a fictional account of the life of Pearl S. Buck?
    From childhood through her adult writing years and beyond Pearl's death, this is an account as told by a Chinese playmate, who later beomes an reluctant participant in the Communist revolution. I learned a lot about Pearl and her life in this account. When Pearl became an adult, I began to wonder how these two had managed to stay so close despite the danger involved. The author's notes at the end of the novel explain that one life-long friend in the novel was actually a compilation of several real-life Chinese friends who were close to Pearl at different times in her life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2010

    China's History through the biography of Pearl S. Buck

    Ms. Min writes with flawless beauty and the song of China. She tells the story of Buck's life through the eyes of a best friend. The history comes alive with the story of two friends' lives and the country they love as it struggles through revolution and years of chaos and brutal clashes of political ideaologies.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2012

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    Posted December 17, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2011

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    Posted May 12, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 Customer Reviews

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