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A Flor Oculta

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  1,418 ratings  ·  108 reviews
A Flor Oculta é uma bela e pungente história de amor, cujos protagonistas - uma japonesa e um americano - vivem um drama intenso e doloroso. Mas, das ruínas do amor aniquilado pelos preconceitos, brota a "flor oculta", o pequeno Lennie, que vai encontrar, à sua volta, a dádiva generosa da mais profunda simpatia humana.
Paperback, 284 pages
Published 1982 by Livros do Brasil (first published 1952)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  1,418 ratings  ·  108 reviews

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Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973) was one of my favorite authors back in the late 1940s and 50s. In 1938, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for “The Good Earth”. It also won the 1932 Pulitzer Prize. Buck was a professor at the University of Nanking. She was there during the battle between Chiang Kai-Shek’s (1887-1975) Nationalist troops and Mao Zedong’s (1893-1976) army. Buck fled to Japan for safety. She returned to Nanking after a year.

This book does not come up to Buck’s usual standards
Fred Shaw
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having recently read some of Pearl Buck’s novels and enjoyed them so much, I found this little gem as I looked over her other works. A departure from writing about the lives of Chinses peasant farmers, The Hidden Flower is the story of an American US Army officer, Allen Kennedy, in occupied Japan at the end of WWII, and a local Japanese girl, Josui Sakai, of a good family. They fall in love but their passions do not heed the warnings of Josui’s family and the Army. Not only is their affair shunn ...more
Jori Richardson
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: only Pearl S. Buck completists
Although I have no doubt that Pearl S. Buck is a great writer, there is also no doubt in my mind that this is a horribly written book.

"The Hidden Flower" opens a few years after World War II has ended. Josui Sakai is a young college student in Japan, who grew up in America before her family decided to move back to their home country when they were threatened with internment for Japanese-Americans. Josui's father feels that America betrayed him, and now forbids any Western customs in his traditi
Aug 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the other reviews and I understand that most people don't find this an enticing love story. Well, that might be because this story was never meant to be a love story. I think it is more about the kid, Lennie. It is about how people, fall recklessly in love or what they imagine to be love and make hasty decisions that lead them to consequences. Consequences like Lennie that they are not willing to take responsibility for.

Beautiful story, poignant and touching..

Urenna Sander
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the book, The Hidden Flower, the look of love was on American, First Sergeant, Allen Kennedy’s face the moment he saw the beautiful, refined, 20-year-old, college student, Josei Sakai. Stationed in Occupied Japan in 1947, a smitten, 24-year-old, Allen was from an affluent, Virginia family, and used to having his way. He requested Josei’s address. He observed her refinement and dress, discerned her family well-to-do, and asked to meet them. Knowing her proud, dour, and embittered father would ...more
Stephen Douglas Rowland
Especially if you are a Westerner interested in things Asian, Pearl S. Buck is a writer you cannot escape. Of course she mostly wrote about China, so discovering this relatively obscure book dealing with the post-WWII American Occupation of Japan (something I cannot get enough of) was quite exciting. I'd never read her before, because I knew her books would always be accessible. And after reading this, I'm not sure I will ever seek her out again. This book has no idea what it wants to be. On the ...more
This book started out slow, but as it picked up I could not put it down. The first paragraph impressed me, the beginning sentence:

"The garden was quiet. Beyond the wall no echo of footsteps could be heard above the soft incessant splash of the waterfall. The silence was planned, as everything in the garden was planned, though all seems nature itself."

It is a beautiful story of an American who meets a Japanese woman and falls in love with a woman whom he considers to be the most beautiful and per
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After reading The Good Earth and Peony, this book was a letdown. The story centered on a love-at-first-sight encounter between an American soldier and a young Japanese woman after WWII, but the telling felt choppy and contrived. I believe Buck's intent was to explore racial tensions and to answer the question, "is love enough to conquer prejudice?" Perhaps mature love would be, but in this case the shallow attraction between two starry eyed lovers crumpled under pressure and did nothing to push ...more
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every five to ten years I pick up a Pearl S. Buck novel and am always impressed with her ability to portray the complex issues that surface in relationships between members of different races. In this novel, she slowly unravels the passions, realities, and subtle racism that come into play when an American serviceman falls for a college student from a prominent but conquered Japanese family.

When we first meet Lt. Allen Kennedy, he is a handsome, rising star, a favorite of his Colonel and a power
Debi Yoneda
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a very long time I have wanted to read a Pearl S. Buck novel and I finally have. This story takes place at the end of WW11. It starts in Japan with the American occupation. A young Japanese girl ( who started her life in the US but was later sent back to Japan) meets and falls in love with an American soldier. As can be expected her family is quite devastated by this relationship and forces her to make a decision...her family or him.
This is a story about a mixed marriage and where in the wor
Kathy Emmons
Discrimination continues to discriminate.

This book highlights the trials and tribulations of discrimination that people have dealt with regardless of culture, race or creed. A depiction of issues that we still need to overcome today. Sad to realize that discrimination will out-live me.
Jun 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Pearl Buck. This is a tear jerker. I read it maybe 15 years ago and I still remember most of the story.
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This story really hit home for me. I have even more respect for my Mother now. Being a mixed race child of the 50's myself (an American soldier father and Japanese mother). I am thankful that my parents stayed together through my childhood. I faced a fair share of ridicule as I grew up, but I cannot imagine how life would have been without the support of my parents.
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this because it was Huguette Clark's (Empty Mansions) favorite book. Beautifully written. The characters have depth and complexity of emotion and actions. Important issues explored such as multicultural marriage, children, war, choices. I keep thinking about this story.
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A moving tale of star crossed lovers. Pearl Buck explores the cultural differences between America and Japan post war through two characters. As expected, a range of emotions are elicited from the reader_ both happy and sad. A Classic story.
Lisa Hunting
Jul 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great story of a Japanese girl who ends up marrying an American soldier who is serving there in the war. He brings her home only to find that it's illegal to be married to a 'non-white'.
Charlene Nelson
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
I have been a big fan of Pearl S. Buck ever since I read the Good Earth; but somehow I missed this book. This is something different from the usual Buck writings about China as it takes place in Japan after the occupation by the U.S. Army once the atomic bomb is dropped and the Emperor has surrendered. The fact that the main characters are an American born Japanese girl who falls for one of the American soldiers and this set her on a path where she learns about the world she is now living in. Wh ...more
Patricia Ibarra
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the best ways to learn about Asian cultures is through Pearl S. Buck, who lived both in China for many years and in America. She is totally qualified to point out the cultural and human nuances and ways of thinking of such different worlds. This novel deals with the relationship between a Japanese college student and an American soldier, in postwar Japan. When Allen sees her, he is only interested in having sex with her, something Josie would never Though she had lived in California for s ...more
Kathie Kuehl
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anastasia D
I don't buy it. I just don't believe such a character as Josui exists.
I was 3 years old when my parents brought me to Japan, and grew up among Japanese kids until the age of 11. When we went back to Russia - I studied at a Japanese school under the embassy until I was 16. My brain was penetrated through and through with Japanese language and culture. Despite my parents speaking Russian with me my entire life - I used to think in Japanese, dream in Japanese and write diaries in Japanese.
And I go
João Ritto
This was the first book I read by Pearl Buck and I was disappointed. Perhaps I should give her another chance in the future...

For me the book felt simplistic, from the beginning to the end. Characters felt mostly unidimensional, most of their choices unrealistic and that feeling prevented me from feeling empathy towards them.

It is possible that Pearl Buck is not simply my type of writer, she is a contemporary of Hemingway, and seems to adopt, like him, a modernist, simplistic type of writing, w
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It could just be the timing of when I read this book (early in my pregnancy), but this book really affected me. The principal theme of the novel to me was that although the melding of different cultures strengthens the overall American fabric (and indeed is fundamental to what it means to be an American), at least in post-WWII Virginia, there were a lot of cultural and structural obstacles to fulfilling that potential. The plot somehow manages to be simultaneously horribly sad/unjust while maint ...more
Karen Bean
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pearl S. Buck writes so beautifully and develops the characters so fully. However, I felt the development of the relationships between characters was lacking. I never felt that I understood Josui's attraction to Allen or vice versa. I certainly did not understand how Allen's mother had so much sway over him. Both fathers were easier to understand. And Carol? And Kotsuba? The selflessness of both of them was lovely but believable??

This book does bring home the truth of prejudices so for that alo
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always enjoy Pearl Buck's novels and admire her as a writer. My main criticism of this book is that I think the author knew how to write the beginning of the book and also she was certain that there could not be a happy ending. In between she wanted to include a Japanese/American baby because that was such a huge problem of the war. However I did not feel that Lieutenant Kennedy's character did not match the Allen Kennedy in America. It was as though Ms Buck was forced to make him revert to a ...more
Amy Beck
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being a Japanophile since my late teens, I eagerly seek out novels of Japan. I loved reading about both subtle and strong & distinct cultural differences in how Japanese philosophical traditions translated into thought and action versus our typically-diametrically-opposed American views and actions.

This novel at first felt a little cheezy re the immediate attraction of the interracial couple, but as it evolved, for me, it became a heartfelt evolution into a heartbreaking reality that left m
I enjoyed this story, but it was at a distinct disadvantage, as I had just finished Lisa See's The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, which has similar themes, but is much more fully written. But when I take into consideration the time when The Hidden Flower was written, I can understand that it was fairly groundbreaking for the time in its exploration of interracial relationships and their consequences based on cultural expectations of the time.

Recommend, but if you have to choose only one, go with
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a great book and quite different from other Pearl Buck books I have read. I loved the story and the ending. However, Allen and Jo were very naïve to think that their marriage could work so shortly after the end of WWII in this country or in Japan. I love what happened to Lennie at the end and how Jo got to be apart of Lennie's very early life; after all love is the most important factor in a child's life. I felt sorry for Allen but her certainly turned out to be a cad.
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-fiction
An American serviceman meets and falls in love with a lovely Japanese girl during the occupation of Japan. Will such a mixed marriage work in the aftermath of WW II? That is the basic question posited by this novel. Written with the typical skill and graceful touch of Ms. Buck and with her usual attention to the complexities of culture, this book was an absorbing read. There are also touches of improbable plot twists. Still, I did enjoy it.
Patience Blythe
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up on a discount shelf of my local bookstore, not knowing anything about it but the author. It is a wonderfully written, nuanced, poignant tale about the past and perhaps the present...and, I believe, emphasizes hope and love above all. The characters are all realistically flawed but are sympathetic, like real people are. Pearl S Buck’s writing is beautiful in tone and structure, too.
Jodi Peeler
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Pearl Buck because she can paint such a vivid picture of whatever culture she writes about. In this story I found her insight into the Japanese culture and the upper middle class culture of America post-WWII very compelling and it made me feel so badly for these two star-crossed/time-crossed/culture-crossed lovers. If you love reading authentic stories about Asia then I highly recommend just about any of Pearl Buck's novels.
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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
“We are compelled to choose,” he sometimes complained, “between the savagery of Communism and the vulgarism of America.” 1 likes
“Like most garden lovers, he could never enjoy the perfection of the garden as much as he wished, because his overzealous eye saw always some imperfection, too minute to be noticed by a stranger.” 0 likes
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