This is a novel of hope and reconciliation. It is the story of an American father and his Eurasian son living in Korea. It is not without some soul-searching and a great deal of understanding on the part of his American wife that they get together as a family. The father is an aspiring politician in Philadelphia. Put in shock and a moral dilemma by the sudden knowledge of his son conceived while a soldier stationed in Korea, the father weighs his political future against his responsibilities to himself and his wife. The situation is further complicated by his childless marriage. The New Year is very modern in its treatment of a politician's seemingly conflicting goals of public success and conscientious personal behaviour. The story confronts the disparity of two cultures: east and west and two generations. It is a very timely book for all of those reasons, but the reward of reading this book is Pearl Buck's ability as a story teller. Marital love, parental love, alienation, adoption, and ambition -- they are all woven into this marvellous, poignant novel.