from The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck
Well and I surely do miss Old Wang Lung. Ken and I finished The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck early last week, and I realized a few nights ago that I missed my nightly visit with Wang Lung, the main character. Certainly he was an imperfect man, and sometimes hard to pity, but he was such a fully developed, well-rounded character that I feel as if I truly knew him, and now I miss him in my house. I miss hearing about his adventures and misadventures, his ups and his downs, and his endless, fruitless striving for peace in his house. And in the vein of most of the best novels, I miss a place and a time I've never actually experienced but feel as if I have.
So many themes were explored in this book: urban life versus rural life; leaving the land and returning to it; mobility versus being tied to the land; new ways and old ways; progress versus conventional wisdom; family values and loyalties and how we imperfect humans so often rip those suckers out and stomp them flat.
One strange thing about The Good Earth was the constantly repetitive use of the word "well" in the dialogue. I'd be willing to bet this book contains the word "well" more than any other book ever published. At first I found it distracting, but then I, well, I guess I just came to accept it. If anyone can shed any insight on this odd word overuse, I'd appreciate it.
The Good Earth is the first book in a trilogy about the Wang Lung clan, but the second and third book seem to be readily available only on Kindle. My mountainous TBR pile warns me against buying them. If anyone has read either of them (Sons or A House Divided) and would like to offer an opinion, please do so.
Well and I think I've said my peace for now. Happy Hibernative Winter Reading!