the good earth - pearl s buckThe Good Earth charts the rise and fall in the life of simple and unpretentious farmer Wang Lung, before the Chinese Revolution. The book is both a study of life in China during this period, and a study of human nature as it interacts with its environment and fortunes. A subtle and moving morality tale, Wang Lung is thrown between famine and feast, the joy and struggles of both poverty and riches, the impact of war and revolution on his once-ordinary life, his undemanding, unappreciated and humble wife, his later-acquired lofty concubine, and the divergence in his children’s fortunes. This book is totally removed from modern ‘western’ life, but through such rich descriptions, sparse narration, and the underlying thread of the common ‘human condition’, it is accessible and powerful for any audience.

Set in early 20th century China.

Recommended by Tamara Bell.

Buy the book here.