KDL Recommends > Staff Picks > September 2013
Pearl of China: A Novel
Title: Pearl of China: A Novel
Author: Anchee Min
“The lovely story of a young Pearl S. Buck, her childhood friend Willow Yee, and the lifelong friendship they develop that helps to sustain them through the tumultuous decades of the twentieth century.”—Mark at KDL’s Krause Memorial branch
It is the end of the nineteenth century and China is riding on the crest of great change, but for nine-year-old Willow, the only child of a destitute family in the small southern town of Chin-kiang, nothing ever seems to change. Until the day she meets Pearl, the eldest daughter of a zealous American missionary.
Pearl is head-strong, independent and fiercely intelligent, and will grow up to be Pearl S Buck, the Pulitzer- and Nobel Prize-winning writer and humanitarian activist, but for now all Willow knows is that she has never met anyone like her in all her life. From the start the two are thick as thieves, but when the Boxer Rebellion rocks the nation, Pearl’s family is forced to leave China to flee religious persecution. As the twentieth century unfolds in all its turmoil, through right-wing military coups and Mao’s Red Revolution, through bad marriages and broken dreams, the two girls cling to their lifelong friendship across the sea.
In this ambitious and moving new novel, Anchee Min, acclaimed author of Empress Orchid
and Red Azalea
, brings to life a courageous and passionate woman who loved the country of her childhood and who has been hailed in China as a modern heroine.