Monday, October 13, 2014

I'll Be Right There

It is the mid 1980's in South Korea and Jung Yoon is a
young college girl finding her way to a new life in the big city. She is on her own for the first time and has left the safe haven of her cousins apartment. She is alone and she is lonely and learns quickly that these are two separate emotions. With unparalleled beauty this Korean author, Kyung Sook Shin, details the long days and nights that blend together endlessly for Jung Yoon. And then she meets Myungsuh, Miru and her cat named Emily (after none other than Emily Dickinson).  Their triangle friendship which is both complicated and beautiful mixed with the unending riots and protests that fill the city, close the universities leaving all the students along with  their beloved Professor bewildered and lost. All they want is to learn and read and be free but under martial law none of this is possible. The memory of Jung Yoon's mother and Miru's sister haunt them as they chase their literary dreams and experience young love for the first time. This is absolutely one of the most poetic storytellers I have encountered. Although it is a slow - somewhat sad read , it is different than anything I have ever experienced, truly a beautiful story. Different time, different place, different perspective.

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