Pachinko by Min Jin Lee: A Review


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I was lucky enough to win an advanced copy of Pachinko by Min Jin Lee from a giveaway on Goodreads.  I love books that feature families, especially those families from international countries, and this book really hit the spot for me.  Young Sunja, daughter of the owner of a boardinghouse in Korea, meets a rich Korean man who lives in Japan and becomes pregnant with his child.  When she finds out that he is married to a Japanese woman and has children, she finds that she can't be with him any longer.  A Korean Christian boarder who is moving to Japan to live with his brother and work as a pastor, Isak, finds out about her pregnancy and offers to marry her so that her and her child can avoid shame.  Sunja travels with Isak to Japan and the couple and their young child, Noa, struggle there more that they did in Korea.  Koreans are regularly discriminated against by the local Japanese and the family struggles to make money and find suitable living arrangements.  Through all this, the family sticks together and helps one another to overcome the seemingly insurmountable odds in front of them.

There were times when this book seems to be a bit long-winded and there are some parts that seem unnecessary, at times, but this book will not disappoint.  This book spans many generations of a family and it is satisfying to watch the young Baek family grow and adapt in a new land.  Most immigrant stories center on families that travel from other countries to the United States but this is an immigration story of a different kind but it shows that immigrants struggle, and learn to persevere, anywhere.  The stories are rich with history and will teach the reader about how current events have come to be.  The characters are all complex but intertwined with each other.  The author has not made the mistake of making all of her characters likeable or made them all seem to have evil tendencies, either.  I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to any reader of historical fiction or who enjoys multicultural stories.

   

This book will be available on February 7, 2017 and can be purchased from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Read more reviews on this book on Goodreads

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in order to review it but that did not have an effect on my review of the book.  This is my honest opinion of this book.  I am a participant in the Amazon Affiliates program.  By clicking on the Amazon link and purchasing this product, I receive a small fee.  I am not associated with Goodreads or Barnes and Noble in any way and the links provided are available strictly for your convenience and not to imply a relationship of any kind. 

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