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The Promise

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  233 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
In another triumphant cultural and historical novel from Pearl S. Buck, The Promise chronicles a band of Chinese soldiers who are sent to rescue a British-American platoon, pinned down in Burma, while the Japanese army attacks Burma Road during World War II. The dangers that await the brave soldiers are heightened, as they encounter unthankfulness and ingratitude from the ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Moyer Bell (first published January 1st 1943)
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Jun 26, 2010 Lisa rated it really liked it
This really was a very sad story. But hopeful at the same time. And I learned a lot - this book led me to looking up a lot of things to figure out people and places. Noting the title, this passage really hit me:
"And promises were nothing but words, and words were bubbles of air, falling easily from men's lips and broken and gone as though they had never been."
Oct 11, 2008 Ashley rated it really liked it
The more I read, the more I like Pearl Buck's books.
Nov 06, 2014 Zoe rated it really liked it
Note: Sequel or continuation of "Dragon Seed." Though it can stand on its own it makes more sense with that background. It also begs for its own continuation and I kept searching and searching Buck's book summaries for one. If anyone knows of one please let me know!
This is listed as Buck's "book on Burma" when listing her diversity in writing about Asian countries, not only her main subject of China. That is completely misleading if as I do you consider her strength to be in her characters and h
Mar 16, 2010 Alice rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, asia
I really enjoyed this book. Although it was set during the war, and had scenes of fighting - it really was about the people and how they related to each other. Great for getting a perspective of why we (Americans/westerners) aren't successful when we step in to "liberate" people.
Regina Lindsey
Jan 17, 2016 Regina Lindsey rated it really liked it
In the novel, Mayli observes, "Yes, this was the first time that Chinese men and women had ever left their own land to fight." But, with the Rape of Nanking, there is plenty of motivation for China to support the Allies in WWII. While the larger geo-political scenes play out the Chinese people go on with their daily lives: people fall in love, couples have children, death occurs, and Mayli and Shen play a cat and mouse flirtatious game until soldiers are called to duty. The Chinese have agreed ...more
Dec 17, 2009 Tiara rated it liked it
This is quite a nice book. Though it still kept the China-setting mind, like usual, but the sensitivity and the intimacy of Pearl's has been blurred here. The story is about a brave division of Chinese who have been sent on a suicide mission to rescue the remnants of an Anglo-American force trapped in Burma, somewhere during the World War II. What i remember the most is the line ,"We own this country, after all; it's part of our Empire". Reading this makes my heart shivers but then, that's it! ...more
Apr 16, 2009 Cee rated it really liked it
As usual, Pearl Buck delivers another touching tale about China, its people, and its culture. This is the story of China in WWII as told through the eyes of a young man and the girl he loves. They are caught up in cultural and political changes that propel them along the Burma Road. They are filled with idealism, love of country, pride and the knowledge that they will fail to halt the enemy regardless of how hard they fight. They know that many of their friends and family will bear the brunt of ...more
Daniel  Kupchyk
Jan 28, 2011 Daniel Kupchyk rated it really liked it
The Promise follows Buck's The Dragon Seed about the Japanese invasion of China in WWII. The Promise is about the WWII battle in Burma. It follow Mayli's and Sheng's tale of two people whose life is affected during the course of the war. Great descriptions of the Burmese jungles, the Burmese people, and the Japanese cruelties. The promise is the English and Americans word to come to the aid of China that never materialized and it shows the disdain the British and Americans had for Asian peoples.
Dec 03, 2012 Jan rated it liked it
I liked how we got to know the people personally, then we saw them as soldiers. It was enjoyable to learn about another culture and interesting to compare them with our own cultural soldiers. The descriptions were detailed enough for me to never want to go to Southeast Asia without air conditioning strapped to my back. And I guess I learned that an underdog nation can and should step up alongside "the big dog" of the United States.
Maryclaire Zampogna
Jun 22, 2010 Maryclaire Zampogna rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up off the shelf and I'm so glad I did. I forgot how well Pearl Buck writes. All of a sudden I was in China with a family at their home, then off to war in Burma. The 2 characters in this book fall in love but will not commit. She was raised in America and he in the fields of China. Two different backgrounds, but one bond, the love of their country.
Nancy Wilkinson
Jan 26, 2015 Nancy Wilkinson rated it really liked it
Another disappointing read from Pearl Buck. A bit more emotionally engaging than The Good Earth but still felt plodding. I guess it is just an older style of writing or perhaps it is a cultural thing. Ms. Buck had been brought up in China and so perhaps her more reserved writing is part of her background. Good story but frustratingly flat characters. Sorry.
Feb 03, 2013 Irene rated it it was amazing
I've been searching both the internet libraries and the ones with paper books, but I can't find the title of the third part in the series of Dragon Seed.

Have I been misinformed, and there is no third part?

Some librarians claim the third part is the Pavillion of Women, but it seems ludicrous, as I can't find the connection with any of the Lao sons.
Five 5 Five Lopez
May 29, 2013 Five 5 Five Lopez rated it it was amazing
White men " we could be free if you did not think it your duty to save us. Your duty keeps you master and makes us slave. We cannot escape your goodness. Your honesty will not let us go. One of these days we shall defy your God and then we shall be free."

Read this book.
Feb 04, 2013 Julie rated it really liked it
Liked it a lot. But I didn't realize I was reading a sequel to Dragon Seed. So afterwards, I read Dragon Seed. It was sort of nice knowing in advance how the book would end (somewhat). Now that I know the background of all the characters, I am going to spot-read The Promise again.
Krista Tesler
Jul 16, 2015 Krista Tesler rated it it was amazing
This book was my favorite out of Pearl S. Buck's novels that I've read so far! A very sad story, but very inspiring!
Oct 18, 2007 Eli rated it really liked it
Follow a Chinese family as they fight against Japanese invaders and the betrayal of the allies in WWII.
Julie rated it liked it
Nov 14, 2011
nastaran rated it it was ok
Mar 28, 2007
Cmm rated it liked it
Jun 22, 2010
Jennifer rated it it was ok
Mar 28, 2012
Yvette rated it really liked it
Feb 22, 2009
Mefs rated it it was amazing
Feb 13, 2013
Felipe Muñoz
Felipe Muñoz rated it liked it
Mar 19, 2013
Ioanna Dal
Ioanna Dal rated it liked it
Oct 07, 2013
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Aug 02, 2016
Maria Lourenço
Maria Lourenço rated it it was amazing
Sep 28, 2013
Catherin rated it it was amazing
Aug 18, 2008
Linda rated it it was amazing
Jun 30, 2015
Leslie rated it it was amazing
Jul 08, 2011
Gabrielle rated it it was amazing
Oct 26, 2013
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Pearl Sydenstricker Buck 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 the United St ...more
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