Wednesday, August 31

Book Review: Pearl of China

Title: The Pearl of China

Author: Anchee Min

Pages: 275

Summary: Pear of China celebrates the life of beloved and acclaimed writer Pearl S. Buck, from her childhood as a blonde outsider in China to her eventual political exile from the country she had come to cherish as her own. Anchee Min tell this incredible story through the eyes of Pearl's lifelong friend Willow. The story of their intimate friendship against the grand sweep of history bring new richness to the life of a remarkable woman - and inspires as unforgettable novel.

My Rating: 8.25/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: A combination of historical fiction and a story of a friendship, this ended up being a very enjoyable read. The book had a lot of focus on the historical events of China during this time including the Cultural Revolution and Pearl's exile from China. The author was very good at creating very detailed retelling of China during the time setting, and was easily able to pull me into the story. It's main focus was more on Pearl Buck and her influence on Willow and how it shaped her and helped her through the Cultural Revolution, as opposed to a look on Pearl Buck's life. But I still found it to be a very interesting read. The author also heavily focused on the strength and power of friendship in the book, this part of the book was beautifully told, the author did a fantastic job at showing both the trials and bonds of friendship and how it that bond can last longer than anything else.

I found that the book would drag at times, I would even say there were times it felt repetitive, particularly when Willow was living with the other "outcast" peasants, and being forced to renounce Pearl Buck. Although I thought the author did a good and detailed job at showing the reader what it was like, I felt that the author could have focused on other aspects of life during this time as well. Otherwise, I found the book to be a well told story and a very enjoyable read.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, it's a lovely story of friendship, well written, and shows a realistic example of life during the time period in China.

What to read next: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Challenges: 11 in 11, 100+ Challenge,

I received this book from LibraryThing Early Reviews Program.


  1. I have this up for review sometime soon, and can't say if I am excited about it or kind of dreading it, actually. I have read one other book by this author, and I had some real problems with her writing style, so it's good to hear that this one was not bad. I sort of have been putting it off, but I feel like after your review, I probably shouldn't anymore. Thanks, Jules!

  2. Zibilee - Hopefully this book works out for you I enjoyed it. I can see where people could have issues with the book, mostly because it wasn't what they expected. Hopefully you enjoy it more than the other book you read by the author.