When this classic novel starts, Wang Lung is a poor farmer in Pre-Revolutionary China trying to get by on his meager harvests. The one thing he knows and depends on time and time again is the importance of owning his own land. Gradually, Wang Lung's lot in life starts to improve - he takes a wife, the faithful O-Lan who gives him several sons, and slowly starts to acquire more land and status in his world. Obviously things can't go right 100% of the time and Wang Lung is frequently threatened by starvation, poor harvest weather, and potential robberies.
I know this is classic, but the major problem I had with this book was the absolutely awful depictions of women. Coming from a female writer, I was surprised that not one female character was portrayed in a positive light - then again, I bet the men of that era were probably not as open minded.