When O-lan, a servant girl, marries the peasant Wang Lung, she toils tirelessly through four pregnancies for their family’s survival. Reward at first is meagre, but there is sustenance in the land – until the famine comes. Half-starved, the family joins thousands of peasants to beg on the city streets. It seems that all is lost, until O-lan’s desperate will to survive returns them home with undreamt of wealth. But they have betrayed the earth from which true wealth springs, and the family’s money breeds only mistrust, deception – and heartbreak for the woman who had saved them. The Good Earth is a riveting family saga and story of female sacrifice – a classic of twentieth-century literature.
Pearl S Buck won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938.
Simon & Schuster, 2015 (1931)