Young Peony is sold into a rich Chinese household as a bondmaid an awkward role in which she is more than a servant, but less than a daughter. As she grows into a lovely, provocative young woman, Peony falls in love with the family's only son. However, tradition forbids them to wed. How she resolves her love for him and her devotion to her adoptive family unfolds in this...more
There are many many books about the former. This is one of the few good books I have read about the latter.
The novel, “Peony”, set in the 19th century, is written by Pearl Buck, who lived for many years in China. Peony is a ...more
The book is set in the home of a Jewish merchant family in China in the 1850's. According to the historical afterword in my copy of the book, Jews lived in China as far back as the 1200's, and the 1850's is when they ceased to functi ...more
This is a tender story of a family living in China during ...more
"Yet what is right except that which makes happiness and what is wrong except that which makes sorrow?"–page 132
The novels of Pearl S. Buck never fail to remind me just what 'reading for pleasure' is really all about.
PEONY: A Novel of China—the story of the beautiful Chinese bondservant, raised and indentured, in the household of a noted, China-born, family of European Jews; who witnesses the fascinating closing days of the complete assimilation of the Kaifeng (Chin ...more
Pearl S. Buck's writing is excellent, and the storytelling is engaging. I had some issues with the story, since I do not agree with intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews, or with the casual attitude taken by some of the characters when simply tossing aside Jewish rituals and traditions, nor with the ...more
This is a good book for those who found Pearl S. Buck to be an enthralling writer in The Good Earth, but who had a hard time liking the ...more
Peony is also a memorable read, though entirely different from the Good Earth. Set in the 1800s, it is titled after a Chinese servant girl named Peony. She serves a wealthy Jewish-Chinese family ...more
Peony's story is tragic but beautiful. She is not perfect, but you can see as she grows and her loves grows. She is, I think, above reproach.
There were parts of the stor ...more
"A" is excellent and that's what this book truly is. This was a great book that explored two diverse cultures mingling in love, work, family, religion, aging, power and secrets. It's a vacation to China without actually going. The proverbs, poems and phrases written within the story will stay with you forever. It's so meaningful and will provide a psychological balance for any one. If you are Chinese or Jewish this is a "required reading"! Although, I am a native ...more
“Peony” encompasses the lovely prose which Buck is known for: strong, smooth, and crisp literary language with a Zen-like ambiance. Buck’s writing style always has a calming effect which adds an ethereal layer to her novels. In comparison to Buck’s “Pavilion of Women” (which I adored); “Peony” is slightly slo ...more
PEONY didn't disappoint me in that Buck's prose is like an Asian painting, full of poetry and subtlety and grace. I was, however, jarred ...more
Her other books are akin to historical novels. I like reading about the people of the time struggling through all the things that make us all human, regardless of where we come from. Of course, I don't know how accura ...more
There are some things I generally don't like about that kind of novels - to much prejudice and pathetics (descriptions), and that's exactly what I got with "Peony". She is the central caracter, almost flawless, selfless, giving... It s ...more
I always learn something from Pearl S.Buck's books ,and this was no exception. I had never heard of the migration of Jews to China.It turned out to be that their biggest problem was one that it has always been, and that is in intermarrying with the people around them.There God Jehovah had warned them of this when he set them aside as his own people,starting with Abraham. But they never listened,and it was no different with the Chinese Jews.
Soon they couldn't remember why they sh ...more
being mutually assimilated into foreign cultures. Underlying these conflicts is a beautiful story of the bondmaid's love, wisdom & patient devotion to her master.