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A House Divided

I’ve been in a book club for almost 6 years now (it will be 6 years in July). I’ve really enjoyed the chance to read books that I normally might not have chosen to read, and the friendships forged through the sharing of thoughts and ideas will last a lifetime! 🙂

Before I joined this lovely group of ladies, they had been together as a book club for a while. One of the gals has been so organised as to write down each of the books that the club has read since she joined (a month or so after its inception). She emailed me the list, and I’ve been on a quest to read as many of the books on the list that I haven’t already read as possible.

One of those books was Pearl S. Buck’s ‘The Good Earth’. It was a book that I’d always intended to read, but never gotten around to. I finally read it last year and enjoyed it.  Imagine my surprise though, when I discovered that it was the first in a trilogy!

‘A House Divided’ is the last book in the trilogy (the second book being called ‘Sons’). It chronicles the young adult years (from 19-26) of the grandson of Wang Lung, who was the focus of ‘The Good Earth’.

Yuan feels trapped between the differing mindsets of 2 very different generations. He feels honour-bound to obey his father, who is very much a traditionalist, yet feels drawn to the cries of freedom he hears from those who are his contemporaries.

Repulsed by the fact that his father wants to force him into marriage, Yuan eventually sides with the other young people in the midst of the revolution in China. But, as he spends 6 years abroad, and then returns home to his people, Yuan comes to realise that there needs to be a bridge built between the old traditions, and the new freedoms in order to truly bring peace to himself and his family.

The ‘Good Earth’ trilogy is very good. I really enjoyed reading what happened to Wang Lung and his descendants. That said, I did find that I needed a break during the middle of ‘A House Divided’ (see previous post), simply because the subject matter and writing are a bit heavier than the tone of most books written now.

3 of 5 stars

2011 Page Count ~ 2051

PS ~ stay tuned for a progress report on the SOSC tomorrow night! 🙂  Hopefully there will be pictures! 😉

Prom & Prejudice

Have you ever been reading a book, and you were enjoying it, but just needed a break? Right now, I’m in the middle of “A House Divided”, the 3rd book in  the “Good Earth” trilogy. I’m enjoying the book, but let’s face it, sometimes Pearl S. Buck can be a little ‘heavy’.

So, I needed a quick, ‘fluffy’ read as a break from the Buck. (Does that sound as funny as I think it does?)

“Prom & Prejudice” by Elizabeth Eulberg fit the bill perfectly.  As the title suggests, this is a retelling of Jane Austen’s classic “Pride and Prejudice”, but with a modernised prep school twist.

Lizzie Bennet is a scholarship (read not wealthy) student at Longbourn Academy. Her best friend, Jane, is crushing on Charles Bingley (an A-lister at nearby Pemberley Academy), and of course Jane invites Lizzie along for the ride, where she meets Charles’ friend Will Darcy, who for all appearances, has decided that all scholarship students are scum.  Humour ensues, yadda yadda yadda . . .

Since I’m very familiar with the “Pride and Prejudice” storyline, this was a quick, easy and delightful read . . . the perfect KitKat break!  😉

3 stars

2011 Page Count ~ 1698

Three Cups of Tea

This was the book club pick for January.  It’s been on my list of books to-read for a while, so I’m really glad I had the chance to read it finally! 🙂

This book tells the story of Greg Mortenson, a former mountain climber who now is head of the Central Asia Institute, which builds schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan to provide a secular education to children (especially girls) who might otherwise not have that opportunity.

I had heard of Mortenson’s work before, and was intrigued while reading the story of how the CAI came to be.  It was amazing to me to see the humility and willingness to learn that Greg had amongst the people in northern Pakistan . . . especially that he paid so close attention to the words of the leader of Korphe, Haji Ali.

The book was hard to get into at first, and the last few chapters kind of dragged a bit.  The middle was my favourite part . . . this is one of those stories that reads like an adventure novel, when it is, in actuality, completely non-fiction!

A friend of mine told me that she had read the second part of Mortenson’s story (“Stones Into Schools”) and enjoyed it much better than “Three Cups” . . . perhaps because in “Stones”, Mortenson does not use a co-author.  Either way, I’m excited to explore more into the life and work of this remarkable man! 🙂

4 stars

2011 Page Count ~ 1467