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The Mother: A Novel

The Mother: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Pearl S. Buck
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

“Buck has never done better work than this. By a great gift of intuition she has entered into the mind, heart and spirit of the Chinese peasant woman and revealed the permanent values of life.” —The Times Literary Supplement

Dickensian in its epic sweep, one of Buck’s finest novels centers on an unnamed peasant woman in pre-revolutionary China. Without warning, her restless husband abandons her. Shamed by the experience, she is left to work the land, raise their three children on her own, and care for her aging mother-in-law. To save face with her neighbors, she pretends her husband is traveling, and sends letters to herself signed in his name. Surrounded by poverty, despair, and a growing web of lies meant to protect the family, her children grow up and enter society with only the support of their mother’s unbreakable will.
An unforgettable story of one woman’s strength and a remarkable fable about the role of mothers, this novel is a powerful achievement by a master of twentieth-century fiction.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Pearl S. Buck including rare images from the author’s estate.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 13630 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media (21 Aug 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008F4NQKY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #148,791 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mother 6 Nov 2008
By D. Bond
Pearl S Buck weaves a tale that makes you want to read as quickly as possible. The Mother is deserted by her husband to bring up 3 young children and care for her mother-in-law. Her eldest son takes on the role of farmer and works in the fields to provide crops for eating and selling. The daughter is blind and is given away as a bride, but dies before the Mother can visit her.The youngest son she loves the best, but is lazy and ends up in the wrong company, and is beheaded.
The Mother goes through so many emotions trying to do the best for her family and lives to see her grandson born.
This is a story written in 1931 and reads as an old tale,and yet it could be set in the modern day. It is a fantastic read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 10 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I loved this book and feel quite envious of anyone yet to read it! Quite simply a brilliant read I coudn't put it down. I cannot wait to read more of Pearl Buck's work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pearl Buck 3 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lovely, easy reading, and sensitivity to a different culture than the author's. To me her books are ideal holiday reading.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  44 reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ASubtle Look into Chinese Peasant Life at the Dawn of an Era 5 Feb 2002
By Xoe Li Lu - Published on
Pearl Buck's books of the 1930s and 1940s were among the first to introduce Americans to the Chinese way of life. In "The Mother," Ms. Buck takes an in-depth look into the life of a peasant woman who lives in a poor hamlet at the dawn of the communist era - when ancient and modern Chinese ideals collided. Her life is fraught with hardship, and her views are tainted by centuries-old patriarchal tradition. Her few joys are simple - a love of food and the longing for male grandchildren sustain her through days of drudgery. Her life is touched by the consequences of both "old" and "new" Chinese culture in ways I will not reveal here, as I don't want to ruin the story.
While the book's prose has, on occasion, been criticized for its archaic style, Buck merely presents her story in language that mirrors the peasant colloquial of the day. This use of language and Buck's wonderful descriptive abilities transport the reader to the nameless mother's home, and open a window into the thought processes that governed her daily travails and simple pleasures. Buck's gift for storytelling is once again in evidence in "The Mother," and her elegant writing style evokes vivid imagery. All of the book's characters remain nameless throughout the novel - an effective convention used by the author to emphasize the fact that this story could be applied to any of millions of "faceless" Chinese peasant families. It also references the way peasant women may have felt about themselves - faceless servants at the will of their husbands, families, and circumstance. There is a subtle political message within the story as well - it isn't difficult to discern how Ms. Buck felt about Communists and the role of the peasant class in Chinese society.
"The Mother" is an excellent story - this quick read will leave a lasting impression on you.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A womans spirit! 7 Aug 2002
By Beverley Strong - Published on
For any woman who's feeling a bit put-upon, a bit hard done by, "The Woman" would soon shake her back into perspective.I know that this has ever been the lot of women in poor farming communities in third world countries, but it's frightening to realise just how little things have changed since these long past times of the beginning of the beginning of communism in China.We never learn the mothers name as she is simply that--the mother of the children of a poor farmer, a co-worker in the fields and the carer of his elderly mother. It's a hand to mouth existence with only the hope of enough food to sustain them on a daily basis and enough money from the crops that they can spare to be sold, to pay the rent of their fields. When her husband runs off in search of a more exciting life, the mother is left with the care of the family and is forced to work like a beast of burden in order to exist. Only her indomitable spirit sustains them ,even though her life is shattered by a series of events that would break a lesser woman.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mother is a literary canvas, painted by a gifted artist 25 Feb 2002
By mary alice cook - Published on
In Pearl Buck's autobiography, "My Several Worlds," she reveals that she almost destroyed the manuscript of "The Mother", feeling that it was not worthy of publication. Had this happened, literature would have suffered a great loss. The characters that Ms. Buck created here - the tragically blind daughter, the grandmother who wears her own shroud in anticipation of death, and especially the mother - are exquisitely drawn and memorable. The suffering of the mother, whose life after the strange disappearance of her husband seems an endless series of heartbreaks, is almost unbearable for the reader. But ultimately the mother is comforted, as is every mother, by the birth of children and grandchildren. This is the story of a seemingly insignificant woman, worlds away from me, whose dreams and longings and difficulties are not so very different from my own. This book is definitely and very enthusiastically recommended.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars one of Buck's better books 27 Mar 2000
By A Customer - Published on
The Mother is one of Pearl Buck's better books. Unlike her sweeping historical fictions, where she is often superficial, this story focuses on the family travails of one woman in a small country village of an unspecified time in China. She is not given a name, is only referred to as the Mother all throughout. Because of this focus, the character achieves some depth and the reader begins to empathize with her. She is not a cardboard good/courageous person. She has a good heart but sometimes doesnt think; has a habit of assuming that she is right all the time, plays favorites with her children though she loves them all, etc. She is an independent but not by choice: her husband leaves her early on in the book, and much of the book is about how the mother responds to this abandonment. some politics enters as one of her sons joins radical students but again sweeping depictions are avoided. The book focuses on the Mother and her reactions to the son. This is the appeal of the book; that the novel follows the life of this one woman from youth to age. Buck actually achieves some of the universality she obviously was shooting for in the character. Aside from the mother the other characetrs are pretty much cardboard.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story of biblical power and simplicity 12 Aug 2001
By C.Solis - Published on
If you like The Good Earth, you will love this book - written in a similar style, which some have called mechanical, but is, in actuality, an archaic form of language - I always feel like I'm reading a story from the Bible or some other ancient text. This is the way the Chinese language of the people would be translated into English - the language of the book moves along gracefully and strikes a chord deep within you. This is not just the story of one woman, but of many. Buck's characters have the feel of archetypal beings - not at all "cardboard", as some have claimed, but types that everyone can recognize, whatever the culture they live in.
Yes, the Mother has her faults - and you may not always sympathize with her decisions, such as when she decides to end a pregnancy- however, the way in which the writer delves into the mind and heart of her character, you can at least see WHY she makes her decisions, and this makes one less judgmental, more compassionate. It made me think of all the women in the world who have had to make the decisions the Mother had to make, about her life, her marriage, her children, her pregnancies, her family honor. You really do feel for this character: When, in the end, she rejoices, you rejoice with her. I definitely recommend this book!
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