Pałac kobiet
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Pałac kobiet

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  5,931 ratings  ·  480 reviews
Przedrewolucyjne Chiny, schyłek lat trzydziestych XX wieku
Studium osobowości dojrzałej kobiety, Pani Wu, która poznaje prawdziwą wartość i sens uczuć

Pani Wu przez dwadzieścia dwa lata była przykładną żoną i matką w domu zamożnego posiadacza ziemskiego. Nienagannie wypełniała wszystkie obowiązki, nigdy nie zapominając o skomplikowanych obyczajach i hierarchii regulującej ka...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published 2011 by Muza S.A. (first published 1946)
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I was surprised to get so drawn into Pearl S. Buck's "Pavilion of Women." Buck has a subtle writing style that transcends time, making you forget that the book was written in 1946. Though I was intrigued to read it, given that Buck received both a Nobel and Pulitzer prize.

"Pavilion of Women" follows a mother and wife "Madame Wu" who, on her 40th birthday, chooses to provide her husband with a concubine instead of ever allowing him back into her physical world. There is absolutely nothing bad I c...more
☀ Jo Ann ❀

My personal belief is that some books wait for us to come along and discover them they lie quietly, patiently, waiting for years maybe for the correct moment in our lives to be found. This book is one of them for me. I'll admit if I was to have read this book say 20 years ago I probably would not have enjoyed it so much or been able to appreciate the philosophical deepness of it. This book felt like it had waited for me to pick it up at just the right moment. I don't think I have ever read a boo...more
This is a story is set in pre-Communist China, just before and during the Second World War. It is centred around a wealthy old-fashioned family called Wu, and explores the psychology of the different relationships between members of this extended family. The central figure of the story is Madame Wu -intelligent, cool, self-possessed and ordered, she runs a large household of over 60 people, with great efficiency – but always in a very understated and subtle way. She also oversees the administrat...more
Mia Queen
Tidak seperti yang saya kira, novel sastra cina ternyata bisa membuat saya hampir tidak bisa berhenti membacanya, kesalib dikit ama death note sih, tapi secara keseluruhan buku ini sangat bagus, ditulis dengan manis dan indah oleh Pearl S Buck.

Review awal menceritakan tentang seorang nyonya rumah bijaksana bernama Madame Wu, pada ulang tahun ke 40 ia mengambil keputusan heboh. Mencarikan istri muda untuk suaminya.

Review itu sudah cukup membuat saya tertarik untuk membeli novel ini, dan saya ti...more
Pearl Buck's writings about China take me back to a place I visited long ago. Her stories and characters are absolutely engrossing; this was no exception. Sometimes a book is full of quotes that I can't resist noting, and this was one of those:

"... Madame Wu had long ago learned that the affairs of a great household must be managed one by one and in order.... She had tried to [do sometihng else]... and Heaven had prevented it. The time was not ripe, therefore. And as she had learned to do, while...more
Rachel Terry
Rarely have I read a book that has made me think so deeply about relationships and ideas that I take for granted every day. Andre, the foreign priest, is surprised that Madame Wu has learned so much about the world within her small sphere of daily life, the high walls of her compound. Andre has seen much of the world and speaks many languages, but Madame Wu keeps up with his intellect and ideas, and this is surprising to him. She explains that everything that happens out in the world happens in...more
Initially I want to say that I received this book through the Goodreads First Reads program.

This book has added to an area that I know needs strengthening for me, knowledge of the life of Chinese people. It is set in mid 20th century, prior to WWII, a time of change around the world and a time of growing change in China. It is the story of cultural and personal transition. Pearl Buck writes from her knowledge of the country and her knowledge as a woman.

We see all that happens through the eyes of...more
My thoughts on Pavilion of Women:

At the beginning I found myself strangely interested in this book; its really not my cup of tea. I was shocked, and I was thinking to myself, “is this really going to be a four star book?” I had trouble putting the book down. Then, at about three-quarters through I realized that what I liked about the book didn’t really have anything in particular to do with the book itself or the author.

I liked all the parts about the Chinese culture, everything was surprising t...more
I give Pavilion of Women five stars not for it's execution (though I don't think it's written poorly) but for it's insight and depth and humanity and love.

If someone were to ask me, "what sort of person should I be?" I would advise them to read Pavilion of Women, to learn from Madame Wu's learning, and to take to heart Brother Andre's wisdom. Meditate on the change in Madame Wu, on her successes and setbacks, and see the way in which she came to live her life. All that Brother Andre says, ponder...more
Chiuming berarti musim gugur yang cerah.
Jiu Ming (dibaca ciu ming) berarti tolong

Entah disegaja atau tidak, kedua kata yang diucapkan nyaris sama mempunyai arti yang berbeda namun secara harafiah memiliki makna yang sama bagi Madame Wu

Saat berusia 40 tahun, Madame Wu memutuskan untuk mencarikan suaminya seorang istri baru. Melalui jasa seorang Mak Comblang seorang wanita yang tidak terlalu cantik namun menawan, berusia lebih muda dari dirinya namun lebih tua dari para menantunya telah dipilih un...more
Just had the best experience with this book. Pearl S. Buck is a wonder and she deserves every award she ever got and more. I was suprised how quickly I got to know Madam Wu and I really felt like I knew her; like we could sit down and talk for hours.
Brilliantly done and written with superb style and grace. I liked it tons better than "The Good Earth."
Loved this thought about Adam and Eve: Because he knew that her mind and her heart were fixed not upon the man, but upon the pursuance of life." h...more
Madame Wu holds an enviable position in China. She was married into an old, wealthy and respected family to a man she cares for, she has four healthy sons who she anticipates will in turn have sons of their own to carry on the family name, and she is beautiful and esteemed. She has long been anticipating her fortieh birthday. She has made a huge decision which she believes will be beneficial to her family but most importantly to herself.

She could never have anticipated the consequences of that d...more
Lisa N
This is the story of the Wu family in Pre-Communist China. The story begins when Madame Wu, on her 40th birthday, decides to relinquish her conjugal duties and choose a concubine for her husband.

Chinese culture is so alien to me, I typically cannot connect to it or embrace it. The concept of second class wives and concubinage is something I have never been able to wrap my mind around, in any culture.

Some of the dialogue was surprisingly universal, I found myself wondering if it was authentic....more
Madame Wu is the perfect wife in one of the most respected rich households in China. The Wu household has stood proudly for centuries, taking care of its farms and tenants, and for the past 24 years, Madame Wu has been the one making sure everything has run smoothly. From the raising of her sons to the hiring of the proper respectable servants, from checking the household accounts to pleasing her husband in every way, she has succeeded. Now, on her 40th birthday, Madame Wu throws everything into...more
What an utterly fascinating premise- a wealthy (Chinese) woman turns 40, and decides her husband needs a concubine so he'll leave her the h*** alone. She is fond of him, but is simply tired of having to perform her main wifely duty, and having already given him 4 sons, and being frightened of the dangers of late life pregnancies, she selects the concubine herself. Her family is horrified.

At a certain point she befriends a foreign monk, whose exact religion is never clear, and her life is change...more
I keep thinking that Pearl Buck novels can't get any better, but then they do! The main character, Madame Wu, decides on her 40th birthday to get a concubine for her husband. (I'm not giving away the plot here -- you find this out on the first page.) She has her own reasons for this -- fear of high-risk pregnancy at her age, a desire to live for herself and not her husband, etc., but her family and community are aghast.

This is a story about relationships between women and men, independence and i...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This story put into my mind the true role of women in a family. Everything falls upon us to heal, fix, arrange, etc. It is in how we accept those rolls that defines us.

I found similarities between this culture and polygamy for the early LDS people. Having come from a polygamist ancestry and hearing the stories it is the connection of the women that held it together.

I fought through reading the book, but found that I enjoyed it in the end. It is often that the one we learn the most from isn't alw...more
Karen Miller
I loved this book, it is so beautifully written. Even though it takes place in china right before WWII, and is about a culture so different than my own, and while there were countless ways i couldn't relate to the main character, I still found so many themes that I could learn from and draw parallels to our own society. A classic indeed!
I read this for our local book and was amazed by the wisdom and classic timelessness of its contents …It focuses on the story of Madame Wu and her decision at age 40 to find a concubine for her husband in 1930s China…This time period was before the Cultural Rvolution of Mao and before WW2 when so much changed for the upper classes who had ruled their dynasties for thousands of years…Madame Wu's eyes and ears and mind and heart and soul became awakened when a Western monk comes to teach her sons...more
Di ulangtahunnya yang keempat puluh, Madame Wu membuat sebuah keputusan. Dia akan mengambil istri muda untuk suaminya. Tindakan yang drastis dan mengundang tanda tanya dari semua orang. Sahabatnya, Madame Liang. Pelayan setianya, Ying. Keempat anak lelakinya. Kedua menantunya. Dan terutama kebingungan dari Mr. Wu. Apakah istrinya sudah tidak mencintainya lagi?

Meskipun menimbulkan goncangan pada keluarga terhormat Wu, Madame Wu tetap gigih pada pendiriannya. Akhirnya ia menemukan Chiuming, gadis...more
Among my library's odd collection consisting of varied donations and years of accepting all tired, huddled masses of books is an assortment of beautiful editions of Pearl S. Buck's works, many of them retaining their dust-jackets. I'm not sure what drew me towards this particular book as opposed to, say, The Good Earth or The Living Reed, but the premise is compelling.

Madame Wu after 32 years of marriage and 25 years as the head of a large, venerable and prosperous household, decides to retire f...more
Yuska Vonita
Pertama kali dengar nama Pearl S. Buck waktu duduk di bangku SMP. Waktu itu, guru Bahasa Indonesia pernah bertanya tentang penulis favorit anak-anak. Dengan mata berbinar, beliau bercerita tentang betapa indahnya buku-buku karya Pearl S. Buck. Baru sekarang gue ngerti perasaan guru Bahasa Indonesia gue itu. Memang sangat indah. I was blown away. Sayang, nyokap gue bukan penggemar Pearl S. Buck, jadi gue baru sekarang bisa mencicipi buku-bukunya. Waktu sekolah dulu biasanya gue melalap buku di ra...more
Stephanie Ricker
Buck’s talent astounds me--not just because she’s a very good storyteller (she is), but because she has the knack of making you care whether you want to or not. I have no kinship with Chinese culture: I have nothing whatsoever against it, but it’s not one of my interests. I have a hard time wrapping my head around the Eastern mindset; all the more reason to learn more about it, I initially figured, so I did a fair bit of reading on it several years ago. While I think I understand it better now,...more
Historical fiction, Chinese aristocracy, personal and female growth, love lessons… these are all terms to describe “Pavilion of Women” by Pearl Buck. However, don’t think that is all there is to the novel. The depth will surprise you…

Pearl Buck’s “Pavilion of Women” instantly immerses the reader into the depth of its plot and character of Madame Wu. Rather than feeling like you need to be introduced properly; somehow there is an old familiarity, like a friend re-visited with an instant camarader...more
In Pavilion of Women, Pearl S. Buck tells the story of the House of Wu, and Madame Wu in particular, in simple and elegant prose. When Madame Wu celebrates her 40th birthday she embraces the custom of an older time and retires from physical relations with her husband. She then chooses a concubine for his bed, freeing her to run the household and engage in reading and intellectual pursuits. Madame Wu's decision sends her household into an uproar, and the story that follows deals with the ramifica...more
Victor Carson
In Pavilion of Women, Pearl Buck follows the consequences that flow from a woman’s decision to stop sleeping with her husband after celebrating her fortieth birthday – and to select a concubine to fill that role in his life. Madame Wu’s logic is flawless – she does not want to bear any additional children in the second half of her life and she wants to live her own life, free of her duty to raise children, serve her husband, and live for the others in her vast household.
I will spend the rest of
Pam Brown
I read the whole thing in a day. What a premise! A woman who seems to have everything chooses to procure a concubine for her husband! This is not a spoiler. The book begins on the day she announces this decision.

Her goals had been set for her throughout her first forty years. Her very identity has been defined by her relationships as good daughter, wife, mother, daughter-in-law, employer, friend, etc. She is always "somebody's something" but she is never just herself. Please forgive the inaccur...more
☽ Moon Rose ☯
Oct 07, 2013 ☽ Moon Rose ☯ rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Men and Women Brave Enough to Release the Phoenix Within
Recommended to ☽ Moon Rose ☯ by: Goodreads Testimonials, Nobel Prize for Literature
The freedom that has been given to us by right is not much of a freedom simply made for our individual wish, nor to satisfy the narrowed view of our selfish needs. Its true meaning lies beyond the boundaries of what we only sensually perceived, beyond the body made potent by sin as first and foremost, it is not a whim to be haphazardly use to appease the flesh in its most flagrant needs.

To be truly free is to awaken the mind to its true path of potentiality in filtering a residue of the soul by...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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500 Great Books B...: The Pavilion of Women - Pearl S. Buck 3 7 Jul 29, 2014 04:24PM  
Concubinage in the intuitive mind of Madame Wu 4 16 Jun 18, 2014 01:50AM  
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Pearl Sydenstricker Buck (1892–1973) was a bestselling and Nobel Prize–winning author. Her classic novel The Good Earth (1931) was awarded a Pulitzer Prize and William Dean Howells Medal. Born in Hillsboro, West Virginia, Buck was the daughter of missionaries and spent much of the first half of her life in China, where many of her books are set. In 1934, civil unrest in China forced Buck back to t...more
More about Pearl S. Buck...
The Good Earth (House of Earth, #1) Imperial Woman Peony Sons (House of Earth, #2) East Wind: West Wind

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“French is the most beautiful,” he said, “and Italian is the most poetic, and Russian the most powerful, German the most solid. But more business is done in English than in any other.” 12 likes
“You are free when you gain back yourself,” Madame Wu said. “You can be as free within these walls as you could be in the whole world. And how could you be free if, however far you wander, you still carry inside yourself the constant thought of him? See where you belong in the stream of life. Let it flow through you, cool and strong. Do not dam it with your two hands, lest he break the dam and so escape you. Let him go free, and you will be free.” 10 likes
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