Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “La madre” as Want to Read:
La madre
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

La madre

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  3,492 ratings  ·  252 reviews
Within this novel Ms. Buck paints the portrait of a poor woman living in a remote village whose joys are few and hardships are many. As the ancient traditions, which she bases her philosophies upon, begin to collide with the new ideals of the communist era, this peasant woman must find a balance between them and deal with the consequences.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 30th 2009 by Random House Mondadori (first published 1933)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about La madre, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Syazwanie Winston Abdullah The Cat is the fourth animal symbol in the 12-year cycle of the Vietnamese zodiac and Gurung zodiac, taking place of the Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac.…moreThe Cat is the fourth animal symbol in the 12-year cycle of the Vietnamese zodiac and Gurung zodiac, taking place of the Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac. As such, the traits associated with the Rabbit are attributed to the cat. Cats are in conflict with the Rat - credit to Google.(less)
Martinilla91 It was first published in 1934. There's a small biography in one of Buck's novels I've got.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,492 ratings  ·  252 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of La madre
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Mother, Pearl S. Buck
The Mother is a novel by Pearl S. Buck published in 1934. Within this novel Ms. Buck paints the portrait of a poor woman living in a remote village whose joys are few and hardships are many. As the ancient traditions, which she bases her philosophies upon, begin to collide with the new ideals of the communist era, this peasant woman must find a balance between them and deal with the consequences.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1977 میلادی

عنوان: مادر؛ نویسنده: پرل باک؛ مترجم: محم
...more
Obsidian
I really did enjoy this one. I thought that Buck had a good handle on the characters. The main reason why I didn't give this five stars though is that I was confused about the timeline and location of this book. I know that it takes place in China. But the way things are written I would have guessed earlier than what the book shows. The book ends with talk of communism and people being executed for it. So I was wondering what time period this takes place in when I got to the end. I also wish tha ...more
Petra
Jun 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Mother (never named) is a strong and capable woman. She works in the fields to provide for her family, while taking care of home, children and mother-in-law alone. She saves face in the village after a devastating event, she carries on. Throughout she enjoys her children as they grow.
Behind the story of a peasant woman in the country, is the changing China. Communists are coming, the traditions aren't as secure & stable. The Mother moves from young generation to the elder generation.
Basical
...more
Kim
May 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-star
If I wasn’t already familiar with Pearl Buck’s writings, I might not have enjoyed this book as much I did. Compared to some of my favorites - The Good Earth, The Living Reed, Pavilion of Women - this one is less focused and less cohesive, and I would not advise someone new to this author to start here. The overall story is very simple. (view spoiler) ...more
George Berguño
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been posting reviews on Goodreads for three years, and I have concentrated mainly on writing about lesser known short story collections. Thus far I have steered clear of novels, but I’m going to make an exception with Pearl S Buck’s The Mother because it is a thoroughly captivating book which has convinced me I need to read everything that this author has ever written.

I should tell you first that earlier this summer (2015) I read The Good Earth, widely considered to be Pearl S Buck’s mas
...more
Ensiform
Dec 06, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, china
This novel concerns a peasant woman, a mother of three, whose husband is a gambler and libertine. One day, after a quarrel, he leaves her. To avoid shame, she pretends he is at work in a city, and as the years go by, pretends he is dead. It's a depressing tale in many ways, because the woman's brief affair brings her, in her mind and in reality, much trouble. However, it ends on a note of hope, as the family cycle is continued and the Chinese peasant's conception of fulfillment is granted.

Buck w
...more
Marilyn
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh my, another great book by awarding winning author Pearl S. Buck. I previously have read The Good Earth which did win a Pulitzer Prize in 1931. Living her first 40 years in China, Buck was well positioned to write these ground-breaking depictions of rural life in China. Poverty abounds in the life of this mother and her family, nonetheless, the mother is a very strong woman through all of it despite her lies during her mid life.

The writing is stellar , just a few of those I highlighted:

"To ri
...more
Edith
May 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WHAT A STORY. This book came out after “The Good Earth” and follows the life of a passionate Chinese peasant mother. Early in the story, her husband leaves her with no explanation and she is left to care and provide for the family. She also has pride and desires to uphold her dignity in the hamlet where she lives, so she makes decisions that seem best to her, but they greatly complicate her life.

Pearl Buck wrote this novel soon after “The Good Earth” but she did not think it was good. She consi
...more
Amanda Lila
I am torn between a three and a four star. Maybe that's what all the goodreaders feel when they ask for half-star ratings.

The Mother was a book with a writing that was simple, straightforward but yet quite unique. The story captivated me and I finally managed to deviate the reading slump coming my way.

A book full of injustice, don't you think? The husband of this family is a good-for-nothing asshole; who contantly refers to their children as hers and keeps blaming her for the pregnancies that
...more
Dina
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On what is a mother ready to do, a great story of ancient times. I recommend this book, you can compare then and now.
Anneta K.
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pearl Buck's books are written in such a subtle and tender way. My previous encounter with the writer was with Good Earth, which i loved from the first to the last page. However, i consider this one as her masterpiece because words come straight from her heart. She describes a poor mother's every day struggle to raise her kids by herself. Her joys are very few and her sorrows endless but she is still standing at every obstacle strong and decisive. At times she gives in to tears of sadness but st ...more
Diana
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully tragic story of a strong woman, which no one could tell like Pearl Buck.
Janet
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely prose, descriptions of setting, and development of characters. Masterful, as usual....but such bleak, unrelenting lives.
Ken Oder
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A peasant woman lives in a small rural hamlet in China. She and her husband own a small patch of land and rent other acreage for farming. The husband can't stand the monotony and hardship of scratching in the dirt for a meager living. Without a word to her, he walks away one day and never returns, leaving her alone to care for three small children and his mother. This is the story of her survival.
Through grinding hard work, an indomitable will, and guile she keeps them alive. There are many hea
...more
Ava Catherine
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asian, classics, 2012
This is the story of a Chinese peasant mother living in a remote hamlet in pre- revolutionary communist China. The mother lives in poverty and desperation believing that the sorrows of her life are the result of her sins. Her husband leaves her to raise the three children, tend the farm, and care for his old mother. The mother is deeply shamed by her husband's desertion, so she lies about it. This is a very depressing narrative; however, it gives the reader a glimpse into the customs of Chinese ...more
George
May 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ipad, pearl-buck
MASTERFULLY TOLD TALES OF WOE.

”I swear if they measured up the joy and sorrow I have had in my whole life the sorrow would sink the scales like stone …”

Nobody writes sadness and sorrow, misery and grief, hardship and despair as compellingly as Pearl S. Buck. In her novel, The Mother mental smiles are rare to non-existent, while anguish is rife. Leaves one wondering who ever came up with a phrase like ’the joys of motherhood’. I know who it wasn’t.

Recommendation: Not for the depressed, nor for st
...more
Shanna
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this book it an amazing look at a peasants life when the japense attacke. Bucks writing is so good that she actually calls the character The Mother never giving her a name. It really showed how insignificant her life was seen by the other characters. It was also a book that showed how extrodiary and dignified she really was during her life. You feel a saddness because it would be such a hard life without recognition or romantic love.
Jasmine
Jan 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love this author. Always captivating characters and interesting plot. The style of language isn't for everyone, I find myself reading slower than other books I've read, but it's part of the reason why I enjoyed it. More of her novels in my list to read.
Fadoua
Oct 22, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was crying while reading this touching story!
Linda
Sep 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: literature lovers
one of my favorite reads of all time. i was a young woman when i read it. it gave me great insight into the chinese culture of it's time, and broadened my view of my value as a wife and mother.
Kathryn
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This is my second Pearl S. Buck book this year. The mother is strong, focused, determined and a hard mother to love. The traditions in China and how poor the mother and her family were left little to be happy about. As she became older and her children became individuals she was emotional, opinionated and hurtful. The Chinese culture is fascinating and I was absorbed with every page.
Robert Beveridge
Pearl S. Buck, The Mother (Pocket, 1934)

It is hard to know what to make of this early novel (her fourth) by Pearl S. Buck, who had won the Pulitzer Prize the year before for The Good Earth (her second) and would, in a few years, be a Nobel laureate. Hard because it is difficult to reconcile such a widely-acclaimed author with a novel such as this.

In her autobiography, Buck mentions that she almost destroyed the manuscript of The Mother, fearing it wasn't as good as her previously published novel
...more
Rebecca Bryan
I did not pick this book out myself. I actually received it as part of a temporary book swap that a book club of mine was doing. I was warned by the loaner that this is a sad book, and she was not wrong, though I did end up liking it despite that fact. The author's writing style is unusual, yet lyrical in a way and somewhat formal. I thought I would have trouble comprehending it, but it turned out to be fairly easy. It struck me as odd that the author did not give the characters names, and I tho ...more
Elizabeth
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book about the stages of life from the perspective of a poor Chinese farmer’s wife who is abandoned by her husband and left with 3 children to raise and one mother in law to take care of. As always in Pearl Buck style- emotional, raw, beautiful and poetic. Cried like a baby at the end. Looking up my next Pearl Buck now.
Nikos79
I had once been recommended "The Mother" as a great book that everyone should read. Pearl Buck's language seemed quite simple in my eyes without this be a good or either a bad comment. Of course it was written in a different era but still in my opinion writing wasn't something phenomenal. As for the plot like I supposed before I started, it's a tragic story of a family living in a Chinese province and the main character is of course the mother. Personally I was expecting something more powerful ...more
Geku
Dec 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somebody left this book (a 1939 edition, translated into Estonian) in my mailbox a little while ago. The story was beautiful and entertaining (in the beginning) and quite educational. There were quite a few lines in it that begged me to read them over and over, especially in the first half of the book. It also made me cry a few times because certain parts in it hit home a little too hard. I think what I liked the most were the author's (oddly sweet and heartwarming) descriptions of the anger and ...more
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
I am a big fan of Ms. Buck's work. I read and loved 'Pavilion of Women', 'Imperial Woman', 'The Good Earth',and 'Peony' among others, but this book was lacking. There were just too many things left unexplained.

The main character's husband's disappearance seems more of a cheap plot point than a real plot device. The death of her daughter felt again like a cheap plot point, and her son's death... ehh. I enjoyed this book at first, but as it went on, the story didn't feel as coherent as it had befo
...more
Mary JL
Nov 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interest in China' and those who like detail characters
Shelves: fiction-classics
This book it not as well known as "The Good Earth" but the story is timeless. It details the joys and sorrow in the life of a very poor Chinese peasant set in about 1930. It is very moving and a good character protrai of the "mother" in the story. Well worth your time.
Rita
1935/1933
It was so so long ago that I read The Good Earth; I am going to have to go back and read it, to see how I find it now.

Buck got my back up in the first few pages, by referring not once but twice to the main character as a BEAST! I can't locate the first time, but the second one is on p 16:
"She sat upon her low stool in the door-yard and supped her rice with pleasure, for she loved her food as a healthy beast does."
OK, so she has no formal schooling and cannot read or write [like 95% of t
...more
Sam
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book very well written. There was something of a very natural continuity to her writing, at no point was I annoyed by it really.
Just like East Wind, West Wind from Pearl Buck, I feel that this book is about progress, and times that are changing (most obviously in the onset of communism). Also, it was about patience and the psychology of the characters was very relatable, despite the fact that they lived in such a different cultural and historical context.
I have a double feeling abou
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
مادر............... 1 11 Feb 15, 2008 09:48AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Η δασκάλα με τα χρυσά μάτια
  • Στα μυστικά του βάλτου
  • Ζητείται ελπίς
  • Η μητέρα του σκύλου
  • Αιολική γη
  • تولیپ
  • Το νούμερο 31328
  • Τα πέντε κλειδιά
  • Mare al mattino
  • آشپز شوهر می کند
  • Freedom or Death
  • Δον Κιχώτης
  • Η αναζήτηση (Τριλογία Νίκου Θέμελη, #1)
  • Ο ζητιάνος
  • Bozkır - Bir Yolculuk Hikayesi
  • Η αγάπη άργησε μια μέρα
  • The Magic Circle
  • Psikanalize Giriş Hatalı Eylemler
See similar books…
1,919 followers
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

News & Interviews

Are you spending this season bundling up against the chill or enjoying summery southern hemisphere vibes (in which case we are...
101 likes · 32 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“However impatient she might be in the day, however filled with little sudden angers, at night she was all tenderness.” 13 likes
“and looked sharply across the street. There was only one house” 1 likes
More quotes…