Thursday, July 23, 2009

113 - The Calligrapher's Daughter; Eugenia Kim


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

20 comments:

  1. This novel sounds so good and I agree, it's a beautiful cover. I love family sagas-they just draw you in so completely. I'm going to add this one to the wishlist.

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  2. It sounds like a great book! And I like the cover too!

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  3. This sounds like a great book. I'll have to keep this on my radar!

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  4. thanks for this review--i hadn't heard of this book, and i'm very interested in korea.

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  5. This one does sound great. Can you imagine being left on the day after your wedding?

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  6. The cover just draws me in and your review makes me want to read it even more! I'm adding this one to my wishlist.

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  7. I'd love to read something about Koreans and their country. This sounds very good. And it is a beautiful cover.
    Re DeMille's Gate House: My son (35) has read every one of his books and said pretty much what you did, which surprised me. He reviewed it for me here:
    http://freshinkbooks.blogspot.com/2009/01/gate-house-by-nelson-demille.html

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  8. Sounds like a beautiful novel. Definitely one I would be interested in reading.

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  9. This sounds like a super good book! Thanks for the review.

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  10. Sounds very interesting. I've never read a Korean novel before, but I'm fascinated by their culture. I'd definitely look for this one. Thanks for reviewing! :)

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  11. I'd recently seen this book (can't remember where) and wondered what it was about - now I know. Great review!

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  12. I haven't heard of this one, but it sounds really good!

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  13. This one is on my Wish List. Very nice and enticing review!

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  14. Wow, what a story! I'm not sure I would have stayed married to the guy if he'd left me like that. I'm adding this to my wish list.

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  15. Wow, this sounds great. I will have to add it to my list.

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  16. I am very fond of books set in this time period and area of the world. It sounds like a great read, I'll have to try and grab a copy.

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  17. Sounds like a fascinating story. Thanks for the review.

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

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  18. This is just the kind of book that I usually love. It's going straight on my list! Actually, you've put a couple on there this week!

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  19. I am the author and am very grateful for your kind words and post. Thank you so much!

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