Last week I finished Pearl Buck’s “The Exile,”  a semi-biographical story about her mother, an american missionary in China at the turn of the century.  I confess, for most of the book I thought it to be one of her inferior pieces of work.  The Good Earth is classic, but this novel was a little too much florid prose for my tastes.  However, as I was on the last couple of pages I found the following line (in the author’s voice) intriguing: