Set in revolutionary China, The Good Earth is a real-life fairy tale depicting the hardships of poverty and corruption of wealth of a Chinese family. Centered around the life of Wang Lung, The Good Earth details his transition from pauper to prince, so to speak.
Wang Lung's main goal is to find peace. Nevertheless, he struggles to find it – can he buy peace with all the money he has accumulated – or was he better off poor?
Pearl S. Buck's descriptions are breathtaking. As a novelist and a denizen of China, she masterfully brings China to life, describing the beauty of the expanses of rice fields, the frailty and softness of a lotus flower, the collage of multi-colored silks, and the unappreciated beauty of O-Lan, along with her unrequited love. Her characters too are believable, all displaying either a vice or virtue.
The Good Earth is a classic that will continue to endure for years to come. By the way, it is the first of The House of Earth trilogy, which follows the lives of Wang Lung's descendants. Additionally,The Good Earth won the Pulitzer Prize for the novel in 1932 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938.