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(House of Earth #2)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  5,034 ratings  ·  381 reviews
Second in the trilogy that began with The Good Earth, Buck's classic and starkly real tale of sons rising against their honored fathers tells of the bitter struggle to the death between the old and the new in China. Revolutions sweep the vast nation, leaving destruction and death in their wake, yet also promising emancipation to China's oppressed millions who are groping f ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by Moyer Bell and its subsidiaries (first published June 1932)
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Ahmad Sharabiani
Sons (House of Earth #2), Pearl S. Buck

Sons is the sequel to the novel The Good Earth, and the second book in The House of Earth trilogy by Pearl S. Buck. It was first published in 1932.

The story tackles the issue of Wang Lung's sons and how they handle their father's estate after his death. It deals mostly with the youngest son, who goes off to war in The Good Earth, and his son. As Wang Lung lies near death, his family prepares for his funeral, including the first two of his three sons. They
Liz Valette
Feb 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
After reading The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck I decided to read the second book in the trilogy, Sons. It's a romantic and adventurous novel that gives a better glimpse into Chinese culture and traditions.

After Wang Lung's death his sons reunite and plan their future with his estate. The youngest son, Wang the Tiger, returns from his long journey with an army from the south. As they all secretly plan in their minds what they will do with their money and land Wang the Tiger has no plan for lands
Clif Hostetler
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
Sons , published in 1931, is the second book in The House of Earth trilogy by Pearl S. Buck . Almost everybody has heard of the first book in the trilogy, The Good Earth , probably because it was the best-selling novel in the United States in both 1931 and 1932 , and was an influential factor in Buck's winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938. But today the rest of the trilogy has been largely forgotten.

The first book in the series was the story of a Chinese farmer working his way
Wang the Elder dies. His three sons inherit his wealth which fund their various sins - sloth and gluttony (Wang the Landlord), greed and avarice (Wang the Merchant) and power (Wang the Tiger). All three are disappointed in their sons and rarely recognise the talents of their wives and daughters. Even though each achieves their goals no one seems happy.
It's hard to believe this is not written by a Chinese author such is the language, customs and empathy shown.
Living in Northern China the three br
I don't know what else to say here besides things happened to people and I wanted to take a nap. Also for those who download this via Kindle, never fear, book #2 is not as long as you think. I got to 60 percent and book #2 was done. The remaining 40 percent was a preview (a really long one) of the final third book in this series.

I really wish I had DNFed this book. I am going to start reclaiming my time and just kicking a book immediately after I am not feeling it. I honestly have not wanted to
L.S. Popovich
After reading The Good Earth, it is hard to imagine a more worthwhile reading experience.
Pearl S. Buck, like John Steinbeck, knows how to combine characters, setting, and strong themes with great pacing and balanced prose... usually.

Editing a book is like creating a katana, I think. To create these masterful Japanese swords the blacksmith folds the metal many times, working out the impurities to strengthen its edge. A lot of writers edit a book in a similar manner, going through time after time
It's funny how a book grows in your mind long after you've read it. Pearl Buck's "The Good Earth" was that kind of experience for me. At the time I first read it, I had no idea it was part of a trilogy, much less a Pulitzer Prize winning trilogy. And when I found out, I hurried off to find the next installment, "Sons", Book 2 in the House of Earth series. Did I really only give "The Good Earth" 3 stars? I upped to to four.

This book, like the initial installment, is working on many different leve
Victor Carson
This is a sequel to Pearl Buck's most famous book, The Good Earth, following the lives of Wang Lung's three sons for about 30 to 40 years, after the father's death. None of the sons wants to work the land that their father prized so highly, and all are eager to sell some or all of that land, in spite of their promises. The eldest son loves a life of complete idleness and luxury and raises his own sons in that same lifestyle. The second son is a hard-working but fairly greedy merchant, who want m ...more
Nancy Rossman
May 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
wow. This writing is luminous. I felt the same heartstrings, the complexity of family dynamics and character development. Then I worried. "How the hell is Pearl going to pull this together for an ending. Surely it will be a let down."

Pearl had talent galore. And quite the attention to detail to not disappoint all of us whom have loved THE GOOD EARTH. She did not write her way into a corner or take the easy road out. Another, WOW, powerful ending...and in her style...right through to the last wo
Back before Nixon went to China a person could pass as a China expert if they could speak archly about Who lost China? If they watched any of several mostly silly movies about the American Woman leading Chinese orphans somewhere. I am positive there were at least 3 of these. Or you could read Pearl S. Buck’s Nobel Prize winning The Good Earth. Later we might remember that China was the country with hoards of poorly lead warriors who charged into our guns in Korea.

So influential was Buck’s book m
I am so torn by this book, it started out wonderful and very interesting until Wang the Tiger took over and all his war-lord exploits. A big yawn for me, let me tell you I started out listening to the audio version and I switched over to the Kindle version, it helped but my interest level waned. I enjoyed several parts of the book, little tiny snippets of human interaction that kept me going. It was the last section perhaps 10% that totally pulled my attention back into its proper place. It conf ...more
Book Hunter
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics-read
The second volume in "The Good Earth" trilogy continues the story of Wang Lung and his three sons. Following the story to the next generation, it is less compelling than the story of the patriarch, the lives of the sons are not so interesting, as that of the father. This book didn't have the same eye-opening effect on me that the first one did. However, it's still a great book with good writing, and offers beautiful view of ancient Chinese culture. I look forward to reading the last book in the ...more
Jul 16, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Good Earth is a riveting story of rags to riches; the sequel Sons is the opposite of riveting. Its short 200-odd pages are tedious and repetitive, seeming to widen interminably the more I read. The only interesting character was Wang Lung's concubine Pear Blossom, but oh no, let's deprive the reader of any pleasure and only mention her in passing. Instead let's bore you senseless with Wang the Tiger, the silliest buffoon north of the Yangztse River. Chinese torture indeed. I will not bother ...more
Feb 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
This second in Pearl Buck's "The Good Earth" trilogy was not nearly as captivating as the first. The story centered around Wang the Tiger, an angry, fierce warlord. His complicated character did keep me interested and rapidly reading, but I hoped he would have ended up with a little more redeeming of a character than he did.

I enjoy Buck's illustrations of her characters but sometimes they seem too much that way... characters instead of people: the fat, lazy landlord, the tight-fisted merchant, t
Toni Miranda
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book makes me wonder how my children will turn out when I'm gone. The father spends his whole life creating an inheritance for his children and counsels them to take care of it. But because they did not work for any of the wealth, they end up squandering it all in the end. I've seen this happen over and over. It is true - that which we gain at little expense is not highly valued.
May 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
At the time I read "The Good Earth" I didn't realize that it was the first of a trilogy, or I would have read this book sooner. These books are a story of generations; they show how each generation reacts to the one before it and charts its own path. It is also the story of China’s history from the late 1800s to the 1900s.

At the end of "The Good Earth" the aged and soon-to-die Wang Lung overhears his grown sons murmuring about selling the land he has spent a lifetime acquiring. These young sons
Lee Margaret
Oct 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the sequel to "The Good Earth." It's not as good as the first book but I still found this a good and interesting read. Pearl Buck's writing is pretty easy to read but parents need to be aware of content material for younger readers just like the first book. Overall it's a complex story and shows how life changes from generation to generations but consequences from decisions made in the past don't stop and fade away. Consequences continue to affect the surviving families of the dead fathe ...more
Apr 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
This felt like a natural continuation of The Good Earth. The writing was very similar and it was about characters that were at least mentioned in the first book. I found it a little disjointed how in the beginning of the book it was all about Wang the Landlord and Wang the Merchant but suddenly became all about Wang the Tiger. It's really his book and most of the book is about him pining for a son, or being disappointed in a son, or jealous of his son thus the title I guess. It is also about how ...more
Feb 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(688 pgs.) The continuing story of Wang Lung's sons and their families. The second in a trilogy that starts with The Good Earth. It continues the story of Wang Lung's sons (Wang the Landlord, Wang the Merchant, and Wang the Tiger, a warlord). It is well-written but I enjoyed The Good Earth better. I thought I had read this book years ago but realized a little way into the book that I had never read it. I enjoyed it very much. One thing that was very annoying about this book were the constant typ ...more
Feisty Harriet
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics, china
The second of "The Good Earth" trilogy, I loved this book more than it's Pulitzer-winning predecessor. Where "The Good Earth" follows the farmer Wang Lung as he aquires more and more land and becomes a wealthy man, "Sons" follows the story of his three sons, Wang the Landlord/the eldest, Wang the Merchant/the second son, and--my favorite--Wang the Tiger, a soldier who aspires to become a war lord over the lands of the north. These three Wang's have children of their own and struggles and triumph ...more
Apr 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
I think I actually like this book a little more than the "The Good Earth." This is the second one in the trilogy and covers the lives of the 3 sons of Wang Lung. However, it mainly focuses on the youngest son who winds up being called Wang the Tiger. There was alot of food for thought passages that I really liked. I look forward to the 3rd and final one.
Feb 25, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I enjoyed reading about Wang the Soldier's exploits, this book was missing some of the wonderful character evolution and complexity from the first book. The only developed character is Wang the Third. The other two brothers are reduced to cardboard one-dimensional characters. However, the book still retains the wonderfully simple and straightforward tone used in the first book.
Jan 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Second book in The Good Earth Triolgy. Picked up right where the last scene of the Good Earth left off... with his sons promising to their father to take care of the land. Great story of the sons lives and the different direction each takes in live. Could not put this book down.
Ken Oder
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a sequel to The Good Earth. Wang Lung, the male lead in The Good Earth, has died. Sons sets forth the lives of his three sons, who abandon Wang Lung's love of the land. Wang the Elder becomes a profligate feckless elitist. Wang the Merchant is willing to sell the land for business opportunities and the accumulation of wealth. The book concentrates on Wang the Tiger, the youngest son, who sells the land for silver to pursue his ambition to become a powerful war lord. The story is well-cra ...more
Jim B
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war-fiction
I'm not sure how Pearl Buck does it, but my mind does not wander during the stories in this second of the Good Earth trilogy, despite the formal English and impersonal telling of the tale. Unlike modern fiction writers who sometimes create the same character over and over again, she succeeds in describing very different men. If there is any common thread to the people she creates, it's that the flaws of all people, as different as they may be, lead to some blind spot about others. I was going ad ...more
Jun 10, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Sons" is the sequel to "The Good Earth" and continues with Wang's three sons. The narrative is repetitive and, at times, boring. Where TGE was engaging in its storytelling of a poor Chinese farmer with dreams of buying land and becoming a rich land owner, and his struggles to fulfill that dream, "Sons" is a story of Wang's children and their indifference and lack of appreciation for their father's struggles to give them all they have. The three sons, one a merchant, one a frivolous and slothful ...more
Linda Lpp
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A classic which I read many years ago. Listening in audio format was so soothing and brought the story to life. The hierarchy and traditions within these old families is powerful. The differences between the sons became evident and how they pursued their various lives, all made possible by the inheritance of land by their father the farmer. One son became the soldier, one the merchant and one considered the landowner. The changes became evident as sons wanted to choose their own wives, not neces ...more
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely BLEW through this book. I could NOT put it down! It's been decades since I read "The Good Earth," but I saw a good deal on the 3rd book, "A House Divided," for my Kindle. Frankly, that was when I first found out there is actually a TRILOGY!
So I got "Sons" from the library to read first.
There are very few books that cause me to say to my husband, "You'll never believe this. This is what they are doing now!" Poor hubby basically heard my ongoing summaries all through the book. It was
Marsha Altman
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddhism, fiction, china
Not quite as good as the first one, but still a pretty great book. The first book followed Wang the Farmer as he grew rich from hard work but was disappointed that none of his sons wanted to be farmers. The second book follows the three sons, who grow rich from investments/war but are disappointed that their sons don't want to be exactly like them. Seems to be a running theme. Some of the characters are hard to tell apart because all three sons are named Wang and most of the other characters don ...more
Apr 07, 2019 rated it liked it
The Good Earth was one of my top favorites for so long, and until recently, I had no idea it was part of a trilogy. And I was so excited to find and order Sons which doesn't seem to be in print either. However, this novel fell short for me and I'm not sure if it was a writing style that may feel outdated, or that my tastes have evolved, or what. I also remember being emotionally pulled into the mother's story and pain in The Good Earth, so maybe I had trouble relating to any (all) of the sons an ...more
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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

Other books in the series

House of Earth (3 books)
  • The Good Earth (House of Earth, #1)
  • A House Divided (House of Earth, #3)

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“Now it has been said from ancient times that all women who weep may be divided into three sorts. There are those who lift up their voices and their tears flow and this may be called crying; there are those who utter loud lamentations but whose tears do not flow and this may be called howling; there are those whose tears flow but who utter no sound and this may be called weeping.” 2 likes
“When there were none but these two left in the hall, Wang the Tiger leaned forward out of his carven seat and he said in a hard, hoarse voice, "Woman, you are free. Choose where you will go and I will send someone to take you there."

And she answered simply, with all the boldness gone out of her, except that she could look at him in the eyes while she said it, "I have chosen already. I am your bondswoman.”
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