Synopses & Reviews
The Living Reed follows four generations of one family, the Kims, beginning with Il-han and his father, both advisors to the royal family in Korea. When Japan invades and the queen is killed, Il-han takes his family into hiding. In the ensuing years, he and his family take part in the secret war against the Japanese occupation.
Pearl S. Buck's epic tells the history of Korea through the lives of one family. She paints an amazing portrait of the country, and makes us empathize with their struggle for sovereignty through her beautifully drawn characters.
Life in Korea from the latter part of the nineteenth century to the end of the Second World War is described through the viewpoints and lives of several members of four generations of a prominent aristocratic family. Buck's] zealous study has enabled her to five the vivid impressions of a 4,000-year-old-culture through the carefully drawn minor characters and much colorful detail about such things as burial and marriage rites, court etiquette and the tending of silkworms.
-- The New York Times