Author Pearl Buck drew from her own experiences growing up in China to write this novel, a family saga set in the rural countryside in the years just before the political and social upheavals of the 20th century. The book portrays the life of Wang Lung, a poor subsistence farmer who prevails over setbacks both man-made and natural to eventual prosperity. An atmospheric, reflective novel with strong characterization makes for an enjoyable tale. The book won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1938.
I highly recommend this memoir written by Caroline Heller. She describes her parents stories of living in the cosmopolitan city of Prague before Hitler and the devastation World War II brought. Interwoven throughout the book are literature and poetry quotes which sustained her family through their darkest times.
“This fine book contains moments of emotion so pure that in the end, we too fall in love with the writer’s past.”—The New York Times Book Review
“[Caroline] Heller plunges us lovingly and convincingly into [a] lost world.”—The Boston Globe
“Caroline Heller writes with both honesty and delicacy. I was particularly enthralled by her finely drawn portrait of prewar Central Europe: a lost world whose memories are inestimably valuable and fiercely beautiful but which, without accounts like this, would fade forever.”—Anne Fadiman, author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
This non-fiction account reads like fiction. Eatwell structured the book like a play; instead of chapters she has written acts and scenes so it reads like a farce. I learned that in 19th-century Britain, it wasn’t unheard of for men to lead double lives and have two families and two different names/personalities. Fans of Oscar Wilde will like it!
“A riveting true crime from yesteryear.” (Better Homes & Gardens)
Combining big-picture World War II history with a little-known event in American history that has long been kept quiet, The Train to Crystal City reveals the war-time hysteria against the Japanese and Germans in America, the secrets of FDR’s tactics to rescue high-profile POWs in Germany and Japan, and how the definition of American citizenship changed under the pressure of war.
The author humanizes the harrowing experience by following the lives of two young women who were American citizens, and their families, all of whom were herded into the hot and isolated Crystal City camp on the Texas border with Mexico.
“Engrossing…Russell documents in chilling details a shocking story of national betrayal.” (Kirkus)
“This is an informative, disturbing, and necessary reminder of the dangers produced by wartime hysteria.” (Booklist)
“Both scholars and generalreaders interested in World War II will agree, this book is a gripping storyfrom start to finish.” (Library Journal)
“Russell pulls no punches describing the cost of war and the conditions internees endured….a powerful piece.” (Publishers Weekly)