At first glace this book might seem like just the story of a guy’s life in rural China at the turn of the century. (Not this most recent turn, the one before that.)
Bad stuff happens, good stuff happens, just like it does in real life.
However, it really is so much more than that! I’ve seen it on many book lists, but it isn’t one of those classics that everyone “should” read and no one likes. I actually enjoyed it!!
There is a character list that you can print off in bookmark format, or here’s the list of characters for quick reference:
Wang Lung: A farmer about to start his own family
Wang Lung’s father: Approximately 70 years old, retired from work as a farmer
Uncle: Wang Lung’s father’s sly, younger brother
Cousin: Uncle’s son, close to Wang Lung’s age
Old Lord Hwang: A rich landowner; keeps many slaves and concubines
Ching: A small, quiet man; Wang Lung’s neighbor
Elder brother: Known as Nung En; “Nung” means one whose wealth is from the earth
Second son: Known as Nung Wen
Liu: A successful grain dealer in town
O-lan: A kitchen slave in the House of Hwang
Lotus Flower: A “tea house” prostitute with bound feet
Pear Blossom: A young slave girl Wang Lung buys
Uncle’s wife: Overweight, lazy and manipulative
Old Mistress Hwang: Addicted to opium
Cuckoo: Old Lord Hwang’s clever chamber slave
I hope you enjoy the book, and we’ll see you for the tea party!
April 12th @ 7:00pm
My house. Contact me for directions:
sarahronk (at) gmail (dot) com