Elisa's Reviews > The Good Earth

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
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's review
Jul 13, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: fun-novels, historical-serious-reading

A moving tale of poor Chinese peasants, rise to wealth, family, discord, and an endless search for peace in one's own home. And, of course, the role the Earth plays throughout: our reverence in poverty and forgetfulness in prosperity.I enjoyed this classic. I see why it is a classic. I cared for the characters immensely (in the beginning), and cried with their losses. I felt a sense of foreboding, even when things were good. I found myself thinking of how the gospel could have made their meager existence a happiness.
The second half of the novel, however, was far less enjoyable. Perhaps their prosperity and subsequent lessening of morality was purposeful and didactic, but I felt only reproach for the weakness of the male protagonist as he yields to temptations in middle age. He was much more likable as a youth. Likewise, I felt a connection to his wife, O-lan, and I was sad when she is no longer a significant character in the end.


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