Has there been a film version?
No – althought it’s kind of sad there isn’t. Buck and one of her movie producer friends visited a castle which inspired this story. They decided to each tell it their own way – her through a novel and he through a film. But he died before he could make it.
Who are the important characters?
Kate – the maid at Starborough Castle
Sir Richard Sedgeley – the lord of the castle
Lady Mary Sedgeley – the lady of the castle
Wells – the butler at Starborough Castle and Kate’s grandfather
John Blayne – an American who wants to buy the castle
What’s it about?
The Sedgeley family has lived in Starborough Castle for hundreds of years. Now, Sir Richard is the last of his blood, he and his wife having no children. In dire financial straits, the castle must be sold and the greatest option seems to be to sell it to the American John Blayne, who wants to convert it into a museum. Kate, the maid, finds it nearly unbearable to watch Sir Richard and Lady Mary struggle to remain dignified in their precarious position. She loves them both and the castle deeply and feels a strange attachment to it. However, when the deal turns out to be not what the Sedgeleys or Kate expected, they all are thrown into a turmoil that includes spirits, secrets, and a treasure.
Why is this book a bestseller/classic?
It isn’t really. In fact, on most sites about Pearl S Buck, it wasn’t even listed in her bibliography.
Do you recommend I read this book?
Yes. It’s excellent. Although not what you would expect from Buck.
Why did this book make your list?
I like “The Good Earth” and I saw it on the library shelf with the rest of Buck’s books.
Has it won any awards?
“Sir Richard rose to stand beside her. It was sweet, John Blayne thought, watching them, how when one took a stand the other came to the same spot. He would always remember them, side by side in ancient splendor. It was an achievement to grow old with splendor.” – p 69
I was a bit skeptical at first concerning this book. I love Pearl S Buck as an author – her book “The Good Earth” is one of my favorites. And this book is nothing like any of Buck’s other works. This one is set in England, not China. It’s somewhat suspensful, not an epic life story or a story of hardship. I love the characters. And Lady Mary is one of the most wonderful characters I’ve come across in a long time, although she isn’t really a primary person. After reading it, I feel like I could travel to Starbourough and meet them and feel perfectly at home.