Monday, November 20, 2006

Imperial Woman by Pearl S. Buck

Pearl Buck is on my short list of favorite authors (along with Anya Seton, L.M. Montgomery and Diana Gabaldon). Even a bad novel by her is still pretty good compared to most of the stuff that gets published.

Imperial Woman is based on the true story of the last Empress of China. Tzu Hsi (a contemporary of Queen Victoria)gave up the great love of her life to become one of the most powerful women in the world. It makes for a great and heartbreaking story of triumph and endurance.

I recently read another novel about Tzu Hsi, called Empress Orchid, by Anchee Min which gave me a whole other perspective on her life. It's hard to say whether I still like Imperial Woman best because it's the definitive novel on Tzu Hsi, or because it's simply the one I read first. In any case, both are worth a look.

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