Here are my latest book recommendations for the Northwest Asian Weekly:
By Catherine Chung
Riverhead Books, 2012
Ever since the Japanese occupation in Korea, each generation in Janie’s family has lost a daughter. Because of this, Janie is charged, at a very young age, to protect and keep her sister Hannah safe.
When Hannah suddenly cuts all ties from the family, Janie must find her sister and work to bring her back into the fold. But things are not that simple. Over the years, Janie has heard stories and vague references to certain events in her family’s history. Twenty years later, she still doesn’t know the reason why her family moved to America so abruptly. And as she works to find Hannah, Janie slowly begins to learn more about her family and their secrets.
Throughout “Forgotten Country,” Chung weaves in Korean folktales and stories, which parallel Janie’s journey throughout the book.
Janie’s feelings toward Hannah are interesting. While she always feels protective of her younger sister, Janie also feels resentment as the burden of her sister’s wellbeing grows heavier and heavier. When Hannah leaves, Janie’s feelings only become more conflicted.
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