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Pavilion of Women: A Novel of Life in the Women's Quarters

Pavilion of Women: A Novel of Life in the Women's Quarters [Kindle Edition]

Pearl S. Buck
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £5.56 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description

Product Description

The exhilarating novel of an elegant woman’s subversive new chapter in life

At forty, Madame Wu is beautiful and much respected as the wife of one of China’s oldest upper-class houses. Her birthday wish is to find a young concubine for her husband and to move to separate quarters, starting a new chapter of her life. When her wish is granted, she finds herself at leisure, no longer consumed by running a sixty-person household. Now she’s free to read books previously forbidden her, to learn English, and to discover her own mind. The family in the compound are shocked at the results, especially when she begins learning from a progressive, excommunicated Catholic priest.
In its depiction of life in the compound, Pavilion of Women includes some of Buck’s most enchanting writing about the seasons, daily rhythms, and customs of women in China. It is a delightful parable about the sexes, and of the profound and transformative effects of free thought.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Pearl S. Buck including rare images from the author’s estate.


This is the story of Madame Wu, a woman whose surprising decision to retire from married life and select a concubine for her husband upsets her extended household.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 13791 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media (21 Aug 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008F4NRT4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #77,276 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful 26 Jun 2006
By AngieT
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of the most utterly wonderful books I have ever read. By coincidence I read this book in my 40th year and found such understanding with the character and her craving for peace and solitude.

I also love all the detail and the way the scene is so beautifully set. It imerses you in the culture of the time and place.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I absolutely adored this book 11 July 1999
By A Customer
I stumbled across this book in an old store and couldnt get home fast enough to read it. I found it fascinating to gain insight from my armchair, culture and traditions from China. I loved the characters and the style it was written. There was more than just a change in a life here (Madam Wu) there was the lifelong friendship of her best friend, the challenges of their children, the political times they faced, forbidden love and the complexities of arrogance.. My only regret is that this book is no longer in print.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful, Beautiful Gift 24 May 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I began to read this book one month before my 50th birthday and 33 years into a longterm relationship, and as soon as I finished it I read it again. This is more than just a book - it's a gift. A wonderful, beautiful gift of wisdom to all women who want it and need it. I will treasure this book always.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A haunting, thought provoking book. 7 Nov 1997
By A Customer
When I first read "Pavilion of Women" I was unsure whether I like it or fact I was a little disappoionted. But over the months I found my thoughts constantly flitting back to it-- to some bit of dialog, some passage in this book. A year later, drawn by something I could not describe, I re-read this book. It is not a book for girls, or even young women. It is a book for women. Women who have been married a long time. They alone, I think, would understand, sympathize and identify with the actions of the main character, Madame Wu, who, on her 40th b'day, arranges for her husband to take a "little wife",and the consquences of this action on the family. I know the premise sounds simple but this book explores the very deep waters of the human heart. To be honest, even after a second reading I am not sure I actually like Madame Wu, and , I must admit, it is not Mrs. Buck's greatest works but , as said before, there is something haunting about this book...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This novel begins in the world of the classic Chinese novel--it could be The Dream of the Red Chamber or a Judge Dee tale. All is beautiful, precise, elegant, traditional ... But soon Madame Wu realizes that the traditional ways are not working anymore. She tries to use tradition to satisfy Western, feminist cravings to find deeper meaning for her life. Understanding and then loving a Western man, Madame Wu suddenly sees her life and family in an entirely new way. The novel is poetic, philosophical, and yet personal. As Madame Wu and the world politics of the 40s change forever the Wu family, the mind of the reader is changed as well.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite Pearl Buck 30 Aug 2002
Format:Library Binding
I have owned a copy of this book since I was sixteen, my mother
passed it to me, I think in order that I should learn something
about what it means to be an adult woman. Pearl Bucks writing
feels as if it has been translated from the original Chinese and
conveys both the delicacy and brutality of life in China at the
time she was writing. Her insight into the inner world of Chinese society has the sharpness of Jane Austen combined with passion and a yearning for what cannot be. All women approaching
their middle years should read this book for inspiration.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing read 7 May 2012
I would consider this book a "quiet" book - it won't have your pulse racing nor have you turning the pages in a frenzy but it is a very interesting, thoroughly engrossing book. The narrative is gentle and easy to read and you quickly become immersed in the life of Madame Wu. It's also a wonderful insight into the culture and attitudes of China at the time. Madam Wu's initial action appears odd to us now but to see the consequences of it unfold and how her thinking changes is fascinating - would thoroughly recommend this book, a lovely, leisurely read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Womens lives 2 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is brilliant, depicting a way of life so alien to our own but also very valid. Very difficult to put down.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Pavilliion of women
Excellent. I really enjoyed reading all of Pearl Buck's novels and highly recommend them. Life in China is changing rapidly and it is interesting to see how it was less than a... Read more
Published 26 days ago by dawn elizabeth shoard
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to believe that
the writer won the Pulitzer. I thought the writing was so bad, I kept checking who the translator was until I found out that it was actually written in English originally. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Rabid Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner
Although it is quite long, I enjoyed this book immensely. Interesting on so many different levels and taught me some new things about Chinese culture.
Published 7 months ago by Roger Rabbit
5.0 out of 5 stars PAVILLION OF WOMEN
Published 8 months ago by laura mcfadden
5.0 out of 5 stars Pavilion of Women
I have read all Pearl S Buck and very much enjoy them all but I am especially fond of Madam Wu I first found her in my teens when I worked in a library and was delighted to find... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Gwennienm
5.0 out of 5 stars Usual Pearl Buck Quality
A peep into another era and another life style. At times I found that I was not sympathetic to the way of life and the sexual inequality, but wow, what a well written book.
Published 19 months ago by C. Nicola
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fabulous Chinese Buck Novel
The story is the typical Chinese setting: wife brings in a concubine for husband. The sad thing was that when Lady Wu was carrying out family traditions that started from... Read more
Published on 26 Dec 1998
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