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Book Review: Pearl: A Historical Fiction Based on the Early Years of Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author, Pearl S. Buck by R. Lee Salkind-Meliment

Pearl is a wonderful historical novel of the early years of Pearl Buck.  R. Lee Salkind-Meliment weaves facts and imagination into the story of the life and background of this wonderful writer and author. It is an inspiring and spell-binding book, one that will be read and re-read by many.

The story begins when Pearl is quite old and disabled. She feels like a black pearl but not a white one, as when she was young. She is living in an old Vermont farmhouse all alone.  All she has are her memories. She feels like her life is getting close to the end. 

Then the story weaves back in time to when she lived in China. Most of the story focuses on her childhood home life and how they moved a lot because her father was a missionary. Her Dad wasn’t home a lot either.

So, her mother had to take care of the family on her own. Pearl also remembers her teachers and what an important role and influence they had on her formation as a writer. On this account she felt completely indebted to them for who she became later.

She was always a writer first and foremost. She kept a diary from a very early age.  One of Pearl’s favourite pastimes was to sit down and write about her experiences and feelings.

Some of her journal entries are contained in the book. They are warm-hearted and the reader is able to see what she felt at the time and what was going through her mind.

There are quite a few gems of wisdom in the book as well which the reader could take to heart, such as “Never stop educating yourself” and “When you come to a fork in the road, follow your heart“.

What a splendid book!  I enjoyed reading it from beginning to end. It transported me to a world of the writer and how at the end of one’s life one should take stock looking at all the good and difficult things.

It feels a bit like a memoir. All the reader has to do is to sit back, grab a java, and be transported into Pearl’s world and feelings. Thank you Ron for such a wonderful book!

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