Title: The Mother
Author: Pearl S. Buck
Publication Date: 1933
Length: 304 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Within this novel Ms. Buck paints the portrait of a poor woman living in a remote village whose joys are few and hardships are many. As the ancient traditions, which she bases her philosophies upon, begin to collide with the new ideals of the communist era, this peasant woman must find a balance between them and deal with the consequences.
The Mother was a book with a simple, straightforward but yet quite unique writing. The story is captivating.
A book full of injustice to sum it up, about a woman struggling to survive in a world that isn’t so generous to her family. The husband is a good-for-nothing asshole, who constantly refers to their children as hers and keeps blaming her for the pregnancies that come spring after spring. I hate to break it to you dude but it takes two to tango. And to make matters worse he feels deep jealousy towards a newborn baby, when the poor woman tries to buy a few clothes for their naked little boy with the little money they have left. So of course, aside from gambling every single moment, sleeping around during work since as he says he worked enough to feed himself only and nothing else matters, he also had to spend all their savings to buy a new costume because his baby child got one. Sounds like the perfect parent… NOT.
I never understood why they kept this lazy and egoistic person around. How he created a family is beyond me. Although calling it a family to him would do no good since he knows nothing about families anyway.
The mother on the other hand, has her days of fighting with what it could have been and what is. She works hard and gives everything to keep her children and her mother-in-law safe. She does everything, from working on the fields to cooking and cleaning the house, the children, her mother-in-law. She was strong and hardworking but of course, she made her fair share of bad decisions. She was after all the product of the same society her husband was.
The parents don’t have names because unfortunately they present not one but most of the families of rural China back in the day.
I tried very hard to keep my personal opinion on various matter aside and therefore enjoyed it more than I would have if I didn’t.
Have you read this book? What is your opinion on it?