Pavilion of Woman – Pearl S. Buck
I had been looking for this book but could not find it in any of the book stores in the town. It is apparently out of print. When I asked for Pearl S. Buck’s books, the bookstore guys hand me “Learning perl”. So, first off, thanks to the kind old gentleman in the Brahmaputra complex, who sold me (I could say, he gave it away for peanuts) his old copy of the fine piece of literature. I’m no one to review a nobel laureate’s work but just my humble opinion follows.
It is written in slightly old English, so took me a little longer to read. The first half of the book was good – matching up to the expectations I had, after having read “Good Earth” by the same author. The second half was exceptionally profound. There are demeaning assumptions and descriptions of women at some points in the book, but given that it is set in times when women in china were far from liberalization and given that it is just a fictional piece of work, this can be overlooked.
It is about a Woman – Madam Wu. Wu Family house is occupied by over 60 members – sons, daughters-in-law, grand children and distant relatives – and run by Madam Wu. She plans that, on her fortieth birthday, she would make herself free and spend the last part of her life for herself. So, when the time comes, she moves out of her husband’s court and gets him a concubine. She convinces him and the other people in the family of the decision. It was then, that her life undergoes a complete transformation. She meets a foreign priest, the teacher of her third son. From here the story could have gone anywhere – but it was quite matured and profound. It shows her discover love and the true meaning of freedom.
I’m a Pearl S Buck fan now :). Got hold of Pearl S Buck’s “The new Year”. Review on the way…