Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John: Close to My Heart

When Mama Kat’s e-mail came, I knew I would do number one:

“This Week’s Prompts

1.)   Book review time! Some people STILL read books…share one of your more recent reads and tell us what you thought!”

What I didn’t know at that time, was which book.

Then, it rose up out of the surging tide of papers, books, toys, dishes, power cords and writing implements that ebbs and flows across the coffee table…


Mrs. Henrich read it to the second grade class at Windsor Hills Elementary School.  A long time ago.  I remembered it all these years.  I remembered when the boys came into a warm room and received Christmas gifts and ate their fill.

I have casually looked for it for several years.  So the other week, when I was in the Children’s Section, I asked the librarian to search for it.  It is out-of-print.  But there was a copy on the shelves in our system.

It has laid around the house, and on Monday, I picked it up.  It took about 30 minutes to read from cover to cover.

It is the story of a boy who was abandoned because he was fathered by an American man.  He went to live under a bridge.  Soon another boy joined him and another.  And another.  The author, Pearl S. Buck, grew up in China.  So I thought it took place in China.  It didn’t.  It was in Korea.

I was moved again.  But not in the same spots in the story.  It’s no wonder it’s out of print.  There are some really grown-up themes running through this book.  I wonder what was up Mrs. Henrich’s sleeve.  Even all those many years ago.  Quite a number of my classmates dads would have served in Korea, just like mine had.

At the end, it is a story of adoption.  That’s why it will be required reading for my kids.

It is a history lesson.  It is a shell that hits near home.


This Post is linked to Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.



  1. How great that you remembered it after all these years! I think I read a Pearl S. Buck book…The Good Earth. I hated it. Maybe the one you found again is worth a gander! 🙂

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