Known for her books about Chinese history, Anchee Min attempts to tell the story of renowned writer, Pearl S. Buck in this wonderful work, Pearl of China. Buck was the daughter of American missionaries, and she spent her childhood in a poor village called Chin-kiang, before being sent away to school in Shanghai. Her time there had a tremendous impact on her life and also on the Chinese. It was Min’s idea to tell the story from a Chinese perspective. In order to do this, she used as a narrator Pearl’s childhood (and lifelong) friend, Willow, which she fabricated from a conglomeration of many friends that Pearl actually had throughout her life in China.
I was hooked from the first page, and loved learning about Pearl’s life and the consequences of her writing in China. I found the author’s life fascinating – especially her love of the Chinese and her harrowing escape from China when the communists took over. I will definitely have to read The Good Earth now!
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2010