This haunting coming-of-age story, told through the eyes of a rebellious young girl, vividly captures the struggles of families caught between two cultures in the 1980s. Family secrets, a lost sister, forbidden loves, domestic assaults—Mary discovers as she grows up that life is much more complicated than she had ever imagined. Her secret passion for her English teacher is filled with problems and with the arrival of a promising Korean suitor, Joon-Ho, events escalate in ways that she could never have imagined, catching the entire family in a web of deceit and violence.
Sabrina-Kate - 5 Star
This book was a definite favorite of mine this year as it spoke about a few topics that I love to read about. I really enjoy reading books that are set in places that I know, like this one, which is set in Toronto and that I can remember having read about as a little girl as well. Now having come to know and love the city, reading about it brings even more pleasure.
I also am always very interested in the immigrant experience which I find can vary so greatly but have similar themes no matter where the immigrants are coming from or going to. I always find it interesting to hear the accounts of the younger and perhaps more assimilated generation, which is largely what this book focused on.
Mary was a very complex and maybe even conflicted character who wanted so many things, and those things did not always reconcile well together. A daughter's duty versus a young women's desires was a big part of what she experienced and had to come to terms with during the course of this story, which is quite a universal theme but had of course its own special twists due to her ethnicity.
I really did enjoy this book and the unique tale - one that resonated with me long after the last page was turned. I am truly happy that this was a story that got told.
Thank you to Simon & Schuster for our review copy. All opinions are our own.
Connect with Ann Y.K.Choi: