You have to enjoy a pensive and paced book to get through this book, but for me I enjoyed it. The picture of the Japanese in WWII in Korea is well presented and critical to appreciating the protaganist's reserved approach to his life.
I found the novel difficult sometimes partly because I, too, am a single parent of an older girl adopted from South Korea. My daughter and I were going through a rough patch at the time, and I could identify all too well with the anguish of the parent, and of the girl, in the book. Their individual journeys were different from mine and my daughter's, but portrayed by the author so believably and, sometimes, searingly, I wondered if he, too, had had such an experience. I think the experiences of being a single adoptive parent, and of being a child half grown at the time of the adoption, are very different from what people assume. This book, so emotionally raw at times, did a better job at expressing some of what that path is like than has anything else I've read.
Sad, but moving.
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