Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Quote of the Week: Pavilion of Women

"Madame Wu rose from the chair.  She was ready for this day. A women's fortieth birthday in a rich and old-fashioned family was a day of dignity.  She remembered very well when her husband's mother had passed such a day, twenty-two years ago.  On that day Old Lady had formally given over to her son's wife the management of the big house with its many members.  For twenty-two years Madame Wu had held this management in her own hands, skillfully maintaining its outward habits so that Old Lady did not notice changes, and at the same time making many changes."   (page 4)

Pavilion of Women
by Pearl S. Buck
first published in 1946

Madame Wu has plans for her fortieth birthday, too, but she will not relinquish management of the big house. Instead, she has decided to give her husband a concubine.


  1. It's been so very long since I read a Pearl S. Buck book. Thanks for the reminder!!

  2. Ooh quote of the week - will this become a regular feature. I do hope so.

  3. Great quote and what a fantastic cover - it's stunning.

  4. Coffee and a Book Chick - The Good Earth is the only other Buck I've read, but I loved it.

    Lakeviewer - I'd never even heard of this book until last month, but love it's portrayal of old China life.

    Joan Hunter Dunn - I like posting quotes. It gives others a taste of the writing and helps me remember the book ... think this may become a weekly or biweekly feature.

    Darlene - I am in awe of that cover... just love it!

  5. What a great quote...hmmm, imagine giving your husband a concubine????

  6. Whoa! I have never read anything by Pearl Buck. Clearly must change that. Thank you!

  7. Marie - exactly!

    Staci - Madame Wu is done having children and feels ready to move on to the next stage of her life.... fascinating stuff.

    DS - Yes, definitely give Buck a chance. She grew up in China and had a real grasp of how people actually lived.

  8. Great quote. I read something by Pearl S. Buck, but it was too long ago for me to remember. I don't think I particularly liked it, but maybe I was too young to appreciate it.

  9. Carolsnotebook - Buck's style may not be for everyone, but I wonder what you'd think of her now.


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