Classics Challenge - The Good Earth

I'm having a hard time determining how much I liked this book. I definitely didn't hate it and I would recommend it. I loved the simplistic style of writing and how it seemed to add to the world the author was creating. It's not flowery, which I generally dislike in a book, but it paints a vivid picture. I felt like I was in the world she created. I could feel the hot dusty path our main character, Wang Lung, took when times were rough and I could hear his content sighs as he took as step back and looked at his rich fields when they weren't. Not just of the land and the physical surroundings. The book follows Wang Lung's life over a period of many many years without feeling draggy and it's interesting to see where his choices take him. You get an interesting view of the the whole culture and choices.

Which might actually be part of the problem. I felt like I understood that world - but I didn't really. I HATED some of the main character's choices and try as I might to put myself in his shoes, I just couldn't. So my feelings for this book seemed to go up and down as Wang Lung's decision making ability did as well. But I couldn't hate him. He was a well developed character with many flaws but enough virtue that kept you hoping in him. There are several other great characters in the book but I feel like it would be too spoilery to mention them as you don't know always who will play a large role in his life when you meet them. It's part of a trilogy and I do own the whole thing so I might read the rest down the road. For now, I'm still pondering my feelings. Which is probably a sign that it's a good book.

The Good Earth is my Back to the Classics Award-Winning Classic. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. 

1 comment :

  1. It is a story that has stayed with me over the years! I think she told the story so simply, but the characters' strengths came through clearly. I compare it to Giants in the Earth frequently in its staying power