Quite a good novel about a Chinese village -- but not a novel that is essential for the average bookshop. The central theme is the inherited characteristics and beliefs that compose a good Chinaman demonstrated through Chi's family and the family of Ma, -- the one a farmer, the other a merchant. In following the histories of the two families, one acquires a picture of the important events concerning the villagers, the class conditions, the things that mean happiness or disgrace. Very well written. Should appeal to those who like family stories and an Oriental setting. None of the poignancy of The Good Earth, but many of those who like the Pearl Buck books will enjoy this.