In the small southern town of Chin-kiang, two young girls from very different worlds collide and become inseparable companions. Willow is hardened by poverty and fearful for her future; Pearl is the daughter of a Christian missionary who desperately wishes she was Chinese too. Neither could have foreseen the transformation of the little American girl embarrassed by her blonde hair into the Nobel Prize-winning writer and one of China’s modern heroines, Pearl S. Buck.
When the country erupts in civil war between the Nationalists and the Communists, Pearl and Willow are brutally reminded of their differences. Pearl’s family is forced to flee the country and Willow is punished for her loyalty to her ‘cultural imperialist’ friend. And yet, in the face of everything that threatens to tear them apart, the paths of these two women remain intimately entwined.
About the Dialogue Society Book Group
The Dialogue Society Book Group explores the capacity of books to provide windows into different cultural and intercultural worlds. We will be choosing a series of quality novels to read and then to discuss together at relaxed, sociable gatherings at the Dialogue Society. Participants are welcome to suggest books for future sessions.
Participants will need to find a copy of the book chosen for each meeting and will need to read it prior to the meeting. Books will generally be available from local libraries.
Over refreshments we will have a conversation about the book and our responses to it. Discussion may cover:
- the quality of the storytelling
- the authenticity and accuracy with which a historical/cultural situation is portrayed
- our personal responses to it
You do not need to be an expert on literature or anything else to join in. The group should be enjoyable for anyone who enjoys a good book and likes discovering new ones.