This Pulitzer Prize-winning classic tells the poignant tale of a Chinese farmer and his family in old agrarian China. The humble Wang Lung glories in the soil he works, nurturing the land as it nurtures him and his family. Nearby, the nobles of the House of Hwang consider themselves above the land and its workers; but they will soon meet their own downfall. The working people riot, breaking into the homes of the rich and forcing them to flee. When Wang Lung shows mercy to one noble and is rewarded, he begins to rise in the world, even as the House of Hwang falls.
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Sons begins where The Good Earth ended: revolution is sweeping through China. Wang Lung is on his deathbed in the house of his fathers, and his three sons stand ready to inherit his hard-won estate. One son has taken the family's wealth for granted and become a landlord; another is a thriving merchant and moneylender; and the youngest, an ambitious general, is destined to be a leader in the country.
On the eve of a popular rebellion, the Chinese government starts to crack down in cities across the country. Fleeing the turmoil, Wang Yuan, the son of a famous general and grandson of the patriarch of The Good Earth, leaves for America to study agriculture. When he returns to China six years later, he encounters a nation still in the grip of violent uprisings. Unprepared for the social upheaval, Wang is torn by the tensions between old traditions and new ways and by his formidable family, whose struggles he hopes to solve.