On her fortieth birthday, Madame Wu carries out a decision she has been planning for a long time: she tells her husband that after twenty-four years their physical life together is now over and she wishes him to take a second wife. The House of Wu, one of the oldest and most revered in China, is thrown into an uproar by her decision, but Madame Wu ...Read MoreOn her fortieth birthday, Madame Wu carries out a decision she has been planning for a long time: she tells her husband that after twenty-four years their physical life together is now over and she wishes him to take a second wife. The House of Wu, one of the oldest and most revered in China, is thrown into an uproar by her decision, but Madame Wu will not be dissuaded and arranges for a young country girl to come take her place in bed. Elegant and detached, Madame Wu orchestrates this change as she manages everything in the extended household of more than sixty relatives and servants. Alone in her own quarters, she relishes her freedom and reads books she has never been allowed to touch. When her son begins English lessons, she listens, and is soon learning from the foreigner, a free-thinking priest named Brother Andre, who will change her life. Few books raise so many questions about the nature and roles of men and women, about self-discipline and happiness.Read Less
Very good. Appearance of only slight previous use. Cover and binding show a little wear. All pages are undamaged with potentially only a few, small markings. Help save a tree. Buy all your used books from Thriftbooks. Read. Recycle and Reuse.
Good. Ex-Library Book-will contain Library Markings. Light shelf wear and minimal interior marks. Millions of satisfied customers and climbing. Green Earth Books is the name you can trust, guaranteed. Spend Less. Read More.
Good. No Dust Jacket. Cover is clean, may show light shelf edge wear or corner bumps. Binding appears gently read, but still square and tight. Pages may contain former owner name or book plate and light reading wear.
Wonderful book! I had forgotten how readable she is.
Apr 3, 2007
A strange love
A wonderful but sad look into the last days of recognized concubines in China at the dawn of the cultural revolution. The arrangement is understood and orchestrated by the Number One wife who at the age of forty believes that her days as the bearer of children and husbands's sexual partner have ended. In her typical skill Buck, dissects the lives and character of all involved affected by the addition of other women to the household. The reader knows intimately every character from Madame Wu to the lowest kitchen servant. Truly a tribute to a surviving marriage without the love. of the partners. As a single work, it ranks with "The Good Earth and The Living Reed."
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