Young Peony is sold into a rich Chinese household as a bondmaid - an awkward role in which she is more a servant, but less a daughter. As she grows into a lovely, provocative young woman, Peony falls in love with the family's only son. However, tradition forbids them to wed. How she resolves her love for him and her devotion to her adoptive family unfolds in this profound tale, based on true events in China over a century ago.
©1948 Pearl S Buck (P)2011 Oasis
I really enoyed this book. The srory line was good, with interesting characters. I first thought the book was just a romantic tale between the upper and poorer classes of Imperial China, but it was more complex that that. I hadn't realised that there had been such a strong Jewish comunity in China at that time, so it was historically very interesting too.
I enjoyed the way it was written, it seemed to flow well. The characters were all interesting and drew you in,
I thought it was well narrated.
I would probably liten to this again sometime.
Peony is the first book I have read by Pearl S. Buck and it will not be the last. I plan to now move to her most famous work The Good Earth. Peony tells the story of a Jewish family living in China around 1850 and weaves deftly personal and cultural conflicts with serviceable and comfortable prose. The plot has twists and resists a pat ending. The afterword provided the historical background and helpfully pointed out spots where Buck took literary license in the chronology of the Jewish diaspora into China.
This novel is perhaps not as strong as The Good Earth or Pavilion of Women but the story chronicles a fascinating chapter in both Jewish and Chinese history; the final years of a distinct Jewish presence in Kaifeng. A warning; some Jews may be offended by Buck's views on why Jews have been historically persecuted. The book includes a wonderfully informative epilogue by a scholar of Sino-Judaica which provides a historical context for the novel. It affirms the accuracy of much of what Buck writes and points out specific places where Buck has taken literary license. For Buck fans, like me, you will want to listen, and for those who want to learn more about the Jewish culture in China, you will also want to listen. For centuries, China was a safe haven for Jews who came to China via the silk road. In the years leading up to the Holocaust, Shanghai welcomed Jews when countries around the world denied them entry.
I loved the book, "The Good Earth." It taught me a lot about China, its history and its people. When I saw this other book by Pearl S. Buck I thought I'd give it a try.
I wasn't disappointed. The story was quite compelling and the performance was excellent.
This is a story about a little Chinese girl sold to a Jewish family in 1850's China as a friend/servant of the family's young son. I didn't realize there were Jews in China until reading this story!
The story incorporates the history of the Jews in China, as well as their current (1850's) life style. It tells the story of Peony, her "adopted" family, and what happens when the family becomes assimilated into Chinese culture/life.
Overall, a very good listen.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
I enjoyed the Professors comment at the end of the book and her historical and archaeological review of the history of Jews in China. I was impressed at how well Peal S. Buck weaved the historical information into a fascinating story from the view point of a Chinese bonds women. Buck painted a picture of the land, culture, religious beliefs and business on the silk road into a story that includes suspense, loyalty, love, and family relationships. Kristen Potter did an excellent job with narration. I read some Pearl Buck stories back in the 1950 and 60s, I am so glad Audible is providing books by this great author, looking forward to reading more Peal Buck books.
This is historical fiction novel but much of what the author writes is based on facts about a Jewish family who is living in China in the 19th century, The end of the book gives some great historical facts about how the Jews came to China as they were forced to leave their homeland. A great story!
I'm not familiar with the print version but I found this audiobook to be excellent. The story was riveting. I had found the first chapter rather slow going, but once the story moved into the second and subsequent chapters I found myself hooked. The themes of loyalty, religiosity, power and love were interestingly interwoven in the story. It was very well read.
Perhaps the point where Leah killed herself. I never saw that coming and it was certainly a critical turning point.
The one that saw David and his father spending the night out on a boat for dinner with their friends.
Yes...but I think it is best heard in short sittings as there is much to ponder upon as the story unfolds.
You've done a super job with this version !
I have run a book club for more than a decade but never have time to read anymore- I listen while I cook/clean/fold laundry!
I will be recommending this book to our book club. Pearl S. Buck has captured some of the complications all of us share by being human, being individuals but also products of our ancestry and the modern communities we live in. The different stages/types of love are touched on- so much to discuss.
The tragedy. And yet the conquering wisdom.
How China absorbs its Conquerors
This a nice story about a community I knew nothing about, the Jews in China. Well written and read impeccably, although I wouldn't say it is a real love story- to me it was more a story that depicts how religion can push people apart- and how acceptance of different cultures can make people thrive. It might lack in momentum, especially in the second part, but it's still a nice story to listen to.
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