The Calligrapher's Daughter is a beautiful story inspired by the life of the author's mother. The story is meticulously researched, and so very touching. I thought the cover was so lovely too.
Najin Han is born in the early 20th century to a very strict Korean family. Her father Han, is a proud man. He is an artist: "calligrapher" and an activist as well. Japan occupies Korea at the time of Najin's birth, and the political climate only worsens. Najin's father wants her to marry into an aristocratic family at age 14, but her mother wants more for her.
Najin is sent off by her mother to serve in the king's court. There she becomes more refined, Continuing her education, she later becomes a teacher, and marries. When she cannot get a visa, her new husband of only one day, goes to America without her. The two are separated for over 10 years.
Najin narrates the story which spans some 30 years. A coming of age story, a riches to rags story, an unforgetable family saga with characters that will stick with you long after the final page has been turned. Even though a work of fiction, I feel that I have developed much more of an appreciation for what these people have been through. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
RATING - 5/5; Completed 7/22/09; Review Book