Carrie's Reviews > Pearl of China

Pearl of China by Anchee Min
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Oct 20, 11

Read in October, 2011

Historical Fiction. Written from the perspective of Pearl's childhood friend Willow, a Chinese beggar girl, as the two grow up during the upheavals of Christian missionaries, Mao, and the Cultural Revolution.

Pearl was born to missionary parents, who visited America simply so their child would be born there and a US citizen. They immediately returned to China to continue their Christian work, and Pearl learned to speak Chinese before she learned English. Pearl attended college in the US, but always felt her heart was in China. She met and married an American missionary agriculturalist, who did not speak Chinese nor really understand Chinese culture. He expected Pearl to be his translator where ever he traveled, yet Pearl was increasingly tied to home and caring for her disabled daughter, Carol. The marriage never really thrived.

Big jumps in time back and forth that make it a bit hard to follow, but still an interesting story. Now go re-read The Good Earth, for which Pearl S. Buck won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932.
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