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‘Pearl of China,’ a novel by Anchee Min

Book Cover of, 'Pearl of China'
Anchee Min

Published in 2010 by acclaimed author Anchee Min, ‘Pearl of China,’ is the fictionalized tale of the lifetime friendship between a Willow a poor Chinese girl, and an American Missionary’s daughter legendary author of, ‘The Good Earth,’ Pearl S. Buck.

The novel begins by introducing Willow and Pearl as nine year old children, living in China. Pearl with her overzealous missionary father, mother and sister, Willow with her thief of a father.

Nothing changes much in the small town of Chin-kiang in the end of the nineteenth century, even while the rest of China is changing rapidly.

Before long Willow and Pearl are best friends. Pearl soon teaches Willow how to write, and sing, while Willow’s unwavering acceptance of Pearl allows her to finally find a true friend despite their glaring differences.

As the fabric and atmosphere of China begins to shift, as the girls grow so does their friendship. Pearl returns to America to attend college, and Willow marries.

One thing that never changes is their love for one another, will Pearl and Willow be able to hold onto to their friendship, or will their differences finally prove too much?

Filled with cultural delights, friendship ,historical references, endearing characters, political upheavals and a fascinating backdrop makes ,’Pearl of China,’ a touching, and vibrantly good read.

This novel is recommended for fans of Pearl S. Buck, China historical fiction, and Author Anchee Min.

Look for,’Pearl of China,’ and other novels at the local Half Price Books

Want to learn more about, ‘Pearl of China,’ and author Anchee Min? Visit her website at

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