Wednesday 15 March 2023

Buck, Pearl S. "Love and the Morning Calm"


Buck, Pearl S. "Love and the Morning Calm" - 1951

Like many of Pearl S. Buck's books, I read this many years ago. Although the story of the two sisters can be a bit dated, it shows what it's like when two different cultures meet, how people who grow up in one sometimes have a very difficult time fitting into another.

And that is a topic that is more current today than ever before.

From the back cover (re-translated by me):

"They grew up in Korea, the two sisters Deborah and Mary; the active Christianity of their missionary parents and the ancient wisdom teachings of the East formed their world view. When they, one seventeen, the other eighteen years old, arrive in New York,
they appear to their relatives like flowery creatures from another planet, bewildering and alienating - just as they themselves are bewildered and alienated by the strange mysteries that American life throws at them. It is an encounter portrayed with great grace and a humour almost mischievous between East and West, which Pearl S. Buck has made the subject of this little novel. But behind the grace and the mischievousness stands a very serious concern, because the quiet work of the two sisters, carried by selfless concern for the fate of their fellow human beings, in their new environment, like a pure, clear mirror, reveals all the hollow, meaningless nothingness of our own self-centeredness on existence. A story to think about, presented in the most entertaining form."

Pearl S. Buck received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938 "for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China and for her biographical masterpieces".

I contribute to this page: Read the Nobels and you can find all my blogs about Nobel Prize winning authors and their books here.


  1. The Good Earth is a story I've read multiple times. I'd love to read more of Pearl S. Buck.

    1. I have read a lot of books by Pearl S. Buck but she has written so many, it's almost impossible to go through them all.

      The Good Earth is certainly one of the great novels of all time, thanks, Deb.

  2. I like the sound of this one with the two sisters.

    1. As you might know in the meantime, Lark, I'm a huge fan of Pearl S. Buck. Her novels are all good but, yes, this one is particularly great.

  3. Nice to read this