The bridge- from sorrow to serenity -- is one that every woman- faced with the end of a happy marriage in the death of a husband- must cross if life is to go on. Pearl Buck has shared her experience in an extraordinarily moving and candid segment of autobiography. Fortunately her husband's death coincided with a challenge to her in participation in the filming of her book, The Big Wave, on location in Japan. Her every daytime moment was filled with the intricate minutiae of casting, keeping the balance between the Japanese producer and the American director, selecting the sites for various scenes in the story -- and this in itself will prove intensely interesting to her American readers. She found in Japan, a country she had not visited for 25 years, not only great beauty but sympathy, quiet understanding, friendship that helped her meet her loneliness. One gets intimate glimpses into various facets of Japanese life, and an exceedingly revealing analysis of the changes the war had brought, not only physically in city and country, but in the people, particularly the women. But throughout, even when she is able to put her personal sorrow aside and handle her responsibilities, she returns again and again to face the memories- happy ones- of the years of her marriage, to attempt a rationalization between the faith and hope she cherished and a recognition of finality and the failure of communication, and to arrive at acceptance of the road she must travel in the years ahead. Her story is simply told and through its pages one comes to recognize the greatness of a woman who is known chiefly through her novels -- and, to a discriminating group of those readers, through My Several Worlds, an earlier autobiographical work. The publisher is backing this new book to the limit.